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Keeping it clean: Students set the example with recycling

December 17, 2018

HARLINGEN — More than 2,000 pounds of trash and still growing.

The Eco Squad at the Dr. Abraham P. Cano Freshman Academy has collected 2,618 pounds of paper, cardboard and plastic, and the school year’s only half over.

Last year the squad collected a little more than 1,300 pounds, said club sponsor Katherine Nieto-Whittaker.

“ That was the first year of the program,” she said. “We didn’t start until October. We’ve got a great group this year. They’re just making a huge difference in their community.”

The students, 25 in all, divide into groups and make the rounds, removing trash from each classroom and emptying it into dumpsters beneath staircases. Many of them have been recycling for quite some time.

“ My mom’s really crazy about recycling, mainly because of the sea turtles,” said Andie Alfaro, 15. “They’re dying and other marine animals are dying from the stuff that goes into the ocean. She makes us recycle at home and she has her own recycling club at her school. I’ve been doing it since I was in elementary school.”

Sarah Reyna joined the club because of the trash she sees lying near her home.

“ I live next to the arroyo and passing by there’s a whole bunch of trash like, people just throwing their tires out there,” said Sarah, 14. “And, I live next to an orange field and there’s a whole bunch of trash there. I just go pick it up.”

Whittaker couldn’t be more proud of the students.

“ This group’s doing an amazing job for taking the lead out of all the other schools,” she said. “They’ve been amazing.”

twhitehead@valleystar.com

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