By Ashley M. Casey
Since the beginning of the school year, students at G. Ray Bodley High School have reduced their carbon footprint by 16 metric tons.
Students in Dan Mainville’s Global Environment class reported the results of a yearlong recycling project at the June 10 Fulton school board meeting.
The class has been sorting and weighing all of GRB’s recyclables most Fridays since October.
“This has been for a long time the environmental club’s job, but … the class gave us an opportunity to pick it apart and say, ‘What do we have?’” Mainville said.
The class found that Bodley has recycled 4.5 metric tons of paper since the fall — that’s 41 percent of the 4,000 reams of paper the school uses each year.
GRB also has recycled a half-ton of plastic and a half-ton of cardboard.
“We’re actually saving money just by having the program available,” Mainville told the board.
Mainville said, Butler Waste Removal, which does not charge the district for recycling, said the cost saved on paper alone would be $270. Butler does charge $60 per ton of trash removal.
The class projected if the entire district joined GRB’s recycling program, Fulton schools would save 52 tons of carbon dioxide and more than $1,000 in recycling costs.
Student Jake Strauss explained the class reached out to other Oswego County school districts to compare their recycling programs.
“APW was the only (school) that had the closest to what we have. They do some student recycling, they have composting,” Strauss said.
“But a lot of the other districts, like Mexico, Central Square, Phoenix … it’s all custodial-ran. It’s just ‘dump it in the bin.’ There’s no true student involvement or actual process in doing it,” Strauss said.
Mainville’s class calculated what the energy savings would be if the entire county school system recycled like GRB.
The districts would save 346 tons of carbon dioxide. Mainville said this is the equivalent of three Fulton residential neighborhoods’ energy usage.
“If you take a block over by the school — three square blocks, 10 homes in each block — if you take the families’ how much energy they produce to do their laundry, to live, drive around, it’s that that we’re removing if we could get Oswego County (on board),” Mainville said.
“Think small, but know that anything you change that’s small has a big effect,” he added.
2012 project may speed up
School administrators are looking to speed up progress on the 2012 capital project over the summer.
Superintendent Bill Lynch, Director of Facilities, Operations and Transportation Jerry Seguin, and Greg Levan of construction management company Lend Lease proposed adding holiday and weekend shifts to the abatement schedule for Fairgrieve Elementary School.
“We started (the project) in February, and our goal is to complete it no later than the middle or two-thirds of the way through August,” Lynch said.
Seguin said the school wants contractors to work continuous shifts June 28 and 29, July 4-6, July 12-13 and July 19-20.
“We’re not buying more man hours. We’re just adding them to different parts of the work week,” Seguin said.
Lynch said the “aggressive” timeline would require the school to reallocate $160,000 of the project budget toward overtime hours for laborers, but would not cost the district extra.
“It’s part of the $8.8 million referendum value,” Lynch said.
School officials expect the abatement work to be done by mid-July so electricians could update the schools’ wiring and IT infrastructure.
The board will decide on the change order as the proposed dates approach.
Save the date
The next school board meeting will be held at 7:30 p.m. June 24 at Volney Elementary School.
The G. Ray Bodley High School Class of 2014 will graduate at 10 a.m. June 28 at the Fulton War Memorial.