St. Louis Health Department recognizes the Rockwood School District & QRS Recycling
St. Louis County Spotlight
Apr 10, 2023

The Saint Louis County Department of Health is recognizing the Rockwood School District for its extraordinary efforts to implement recycling at each of its schools.

Rockwood Science Coordinator Mike Szydlowski first proposed the idea of single-stream recycling in December of 2007, and by February of 2008, a pilot program was already up and running at seven (7) of the district’s 31 schools. At a meeting of the County Council on Tuesday, April 8th, County Executive Charlie Dooley presented Rockwood School District with a proclamation praising their efforts. Mike Szydlowski was present to accept the proclamation on the district’s behalf.

Dr. Dolores Gunn, director of the Health Department, also praised the efforts at Rockwood: “We are so pleased at the efforts being made by the Rockwood School District to implement single-stream recycling. Recycling creates jobs, increases the lifespan of our landfills, and saves energy by reducing the amount of new raw materials we have to mine from the ground.”

Students, teachers, and administrators in the Rockwood School District are also excited by the successes realized so far.

“The pilot program has exceeded expectations and resulted in substantially more recyclable materials than we expected,” says Mike Szydlowski, who first proposed the idea last December. “Should the program continue to be successful, Rockwood will expand its efforts to all district schools in the fall.” The district has partnered with QRS Recycling to set up the single-stream method which allows all recyclables to be collected in a single container, making recycling easier than ever.

Rockwood students, teachers, custodians, and cafeteria workers are all engaged in the recycling effort. Participating schools include: Rockwood Summit High School, Lafayette High School, Marquette High School, Rockwood South Middle School, Crestview Middle School, Kellison Elementary School, and Kehrs Mill Elementary School.

The recycling and reuse industry is a major job creator in the Saint Louis area. There are currently about 16,000 people working locally in the industry with an annual payroll of almost $640 million. Despite that, nearly $208 million of reusable materials are still being dumped into Missouri’s landfills every year.

Original article here.

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