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Kelly Mill Elementary School hailed for recycling program

WEST FORSYTH — Students and parents at Kelly Mill Elementary were recently recognized for their recycling efforts when they won the Goodness on the Go contest.

For the contest, the school in west Forsyth collected empty GoGo squeeZ pouches, individually packaged applesauce snacks, to send to TerraCycle, one of the sponsors.

TerraCycle will us the recyclable materials to make new products, including notebooks and playground equipment.

Heather Cates, a parent at Kelly Mill, said she read about TerraCycle in a parenting magazine several years ago. So when her children started school, she volunteered to lead the program.

“You have to generate a lot of trash to participate in some of the brigades, so I knew we would never collect enough just in our house,” she said.

The recycling program began at Kelly Mill when the school opened in 2012. Students and parents have since collected more than 80,000 pieces of trash, including applesauce pouches, granola bar wrappers and chip bags.

During the 2014-15 school year, the Kelly Mill PTA raised more than $1,600 through the program.

Cates said the contest, which ran from February to April, generated about $28 for the school.

“We collect in our cafeteria things that would otherwise go into the garbage,” Cates said. “It’s trying to help educate our families and help make our students more aware of where their trash goes and what we could do with it instead.”