With Earth Day coming up on Monday, April 22, students from Twin Rivers Elementary and Robson Community School were at the Ootischenia landfill for a tour from Regional District of Central Kootenay environmental services coordinator, Nicole Ward on Thursday, April 18.
“We are here to learn about how to extend the life of the landfill and not bury everything in the ground,” Ward told the students.
Clipboards and worksheets in hand on a beautiful sunny day, the children were quizzed by Ward about recycling and landfill operations when they arrived before embarking on a tour of the landfill itself.
The field trip for Mrs. Evdokimoff and Miss Minor’s Grade 6 classes were also making stops at the transfer station and Brilliant recycling centre.
Ward said she usually sits behind a desk and was enjoying being outside to help educate students about the importance of reducing, reusing and recycling.
Many of the students were keen to know about how things worked at the operation.
The momentary distraction of a red-tailed hawk flying overhead didn’t stop the students from asking a number of good questions, including whether or not ketchup bottles could eventually become peanut butter containers.
Student Noah Kilby asked about groundwater testing and Ward explained that there are a number of wells around the perimeter of the landfill that are tested regularly in accordance with environmental groundwater regulations.
Other students asked questions about why you had to pay to recycle things, prompting a mini-lesson from Ward about the economic impacts of recycling; from the cost of collecting, transporting and recycling items to how people pay less at the landfill when they recycle more.
The students also learned to consider the first two “R’s,” reducing and reusing, before the time comes to recycle anything.