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Peaks Island Students Launch Trash RRR-Evolution

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Peaks Island Students Launch Trash RRR-Evolution
Posted on 03/16/2016
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When you live on a small island in Casco Bay, what happens to all the trash island residents generate? Peaks Island Elementary School students and staff are really digging into that question by carrying around all their own trash this week to get a sense of how much waste they produce.

On Friday, March 18, with the help of ecomaine waste management, they’ll sort and weigh their trash. Then, on Monday, March 21, they’ll travel to the mainland to follow their trash to ecomaine, to see what happens when it leaves the island.

It’s all part of a new project-based learning effort at the island school. This project, launched this week, is called RRR-Evolution, said the school’s teacher leader, Renee Bourgoine-Serio. She said RRR-Evolution “stands for Reduce-Reuse-Recycle and evolution or change.”

In the project, she said, “we are exploring the big idea of, ‘What is the impact of trash on our island community?’” To get a handle on what all that trash is, all students and staff are carrying their trash around this week.

“We are carrying ALL of our trash – including paper, snack and lunch waste and paper towels,” Bourgoine-Serio explained. “We have hidden our trash cans and recycling bins in the school.  Kids have even taken their trash bags to after care to collect their personal refuse after school. In my bag, I have soda cans, paper, folders, coffee grounds, banana peels and post it notes. … My office reeks of coffee grounds.”

The project involves math and reading and focuses on writing and science, particularly engineering, she said.

On Friday, March 18, at 12:15 p.m., Leo Maheu, ecomaine's environmental educator, will help the school sort and weigh its trash.

On Monday, March 21, students will travel by ferry and bus for a 9 a.m. visit to ecomaine, located at 64 Blueberry Road in Portland, to learn about the fate of their trash.