Students at South Junior High School recycled 3.3 tons of waste last year, and Free State Brewing Co. and Pendleton Farms produced 50 tons of compost from food waste.
Students at South Junior High School, employees at Free State Brewing Co. and workers in the city's own Waste Reduction and Recycling Division took top honors this month during a statewide recycling conference.
The Kansas Recycling Assn. (KRA) recognized the three local groups for their groundbreaking work in recycling programs and waste-reduction education efforts. The groups received plaques during the annual Kansas Recycling and Composting Works Conference last week in Lindsborg.
South Junior High School won in the Outstanding School Recycling Program category for having eight ninth-graders pick up recyclables each Wednesday from a central drop-off station at the school.
The students collected office paper, magazines, cardboard, computer paper, newspaper, aluminum and plastic containers. Teacher Linda Davis then hauled the materials to the Community Recycling Drop-Off Center at Wal-Mart.
Last year's haul: 3.3 tons of materials, or about 200 pounds per week.
The Free State Brewery was honored in the Outstanding Business Recycling and Composting Program category. The brewery, owned by Chuck Magerl, composts its leftover food, yeast, hops and paper products in partnership with Pendleton Farms.
The partners are considered the first businesses in Kansas to recycle and compost their wastes on a regular basis, resulting in more than 50 tons of compost used on Pendleton's vegetable farm.
Along with recycling cardboard through a city program, the brewery has decreased its waste by 80 percent.
In November, the brewery's program also won the 1998 Environmental Excellence Award by the Choose Environmental Excellence Campaign.
The city took home KRA's top award in the Outstanding Public Education Program category for its ongoing efforts to educate the community through partnerships with businesses and other organizations in town.
The city's program is overseen by Mollie Mangerich, operations supervisor for waste reduction and recycling.
-- Mark Fagan's phone message number is 832-7188. His e-mail address is email@example.com.