The Roundup -

Brorson School Wins The SMART Schools Recycling Challenge


April 26, 2017 | View PDF

Back row left to right, Grady Swenson, Cayla Hanson, Corbin Steinbeisser and Liam Steinbeisser; middle row, left to right, Chloe Nelson and Claire Steinbeisser; front, Briar Hanson.

For the second year in a row, Brorson School participated in Montana Saving Money and Resources Today (SMART) Schools challenge. The SMART schools challenge is for K-12 schools all across the state of Montana and supported by the Lieutenant Governor's Office, U.S. Green Building Council, and the Montana Department of Environmental Quality. There are three sub-challenges that schools can participate in; Energy Challenge, Recycling Challenge, and Green Schools Challenge. At the end of the challenge, four to five schools from each of the three sub-challenges become winners. These twelve or thirteen champion schools receive a $1,000 check and statewide recognition from Governor Steve Bullock and Lieutenant Governor Mike Cooney. The challenge runs from October through March, awards given in April.

Brorson decided to expand on their program from last year and again participate in the recycling challenge and recycle as much material as they could. Brorson is a small school with only seven students enrolled. The community was so excited for the school after last year's win that they continued to support the school and send all the recycling they collect from home to the school. Brorson used the majority of the money they won last year to build a recycling box, much like the boxes that Richland Opportunities Inc. (ROI) has around town, for in front of the school. With this new recycling collection box, community members came out all summer and filled the box, repeatedly. In the first month of school, Brorson weighed the summer donations and collected a total of just over 1,000 pounds. By the end of the challenge, Brorson had recycled 4,560 pounds collecting 1,387 pounds more than last year! They could not have done it without the support of the community. Richland Inn and Suites, Stockman Bank and the TapHouse Bar and Grill donated the newspapers and cardboard they collected every month to the challenge. Other community members would stop by the school with their recycling and drop it off in the very colorful recycling box. Once again, Brorson's biggest supporter was ROI, where the school took all the recyclables each month. ROI sends all the recyclable material to Billings, MT and earns money to support their program. This year the school had trailer loads of recycling and the people at ROI would come out and help get it all unloaded and sorted.

Brorson School received that highly anticipated phone call on April 13, announcing that they won for the second year in a row! For this tremendous achievement, Brorson has been invited to present at the SMART Schools Symposium in Helena on May 11. Students and teachers will be taking this trip to share how they have done so well and what they did to accomplish such great achievement with the challenge the past two years. Brorson has big plans to expand the program again next year and use the award money to help work towards that goal. Brorson really wants to make the entire community aware of how much we throw away that could be recycled. The students took a trip out to the Landfill and could not believe how much garbage they saw that they could have had in their recycling challenge. Brorson hopes that in the next years that they participate, more businesses and community members take up recycling and either bring it to the school to help their challenge or support ROI and take it to any of their numerous donations spots around town!


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