George Bowman's fifth-grade class is collecting plastic bottles and assembling them into a cube to illustrate how much trash is left behind. The class intends to display the sculpture, which isn't finished as of yet, around town.

Photo by Hans Hallgren

George Bowman's fifth-grade class is collecting plastic bottles and assembling them into a cube to illustrate how much trash is left behind. The class intends to display the sculpture, which isn't finished as of yet, around town.

Students collect bottles to promote recycling

Craig Intermediate School students in George Bowman's fifth-grade class have a simple message to share.

Pick up your trash.

The students have been collecting plastic bottles for more than a month and hot-gluing them together until the pile is more than six feet tall.

Currently, there are 500 bottles glued together in a cube more than two feet tall.

Once the sculpture is tall enough, Bowman and his class plan on putting it on display to show how much litter there is just in the schools.

"It started with the water bottles we got when we were taking the CSAPs," said Dalton Sirk, 11. "Kids from the middle school have given us bottles, and we found some in the dumpster. But most of the bottle have come from our school."

Originally, the class hoped to collect enough bottles to reach the ceiling but decided to settle at six feet and two inches - the height of the tallest teacher at CIS.

"We're trying to show how to recycle, and let everyone see how much litter there is, just in the school," Bowman said. "The idea grew and grew, and we decided to do something. The fifth-graders will show they make a difference."

The fifth-graders want to make a difference for different reasons.

"We want to tell kids in Craig to recycle their plastic, because it will stay around for over a thousand years," said Patrick Keleher, 12.

Bailey Kurz, 11, said she wants people to recycle to keep Craig clean.

"We don't want junk just lying around," she said. "Having bottles lying on the ground makes our town look trashy."

Even just a few bottles can make a difference, said Allie Dilldine, 10.

"It could change Craig and change Moffat County," Dilldine said. "It's all waste that never goes away, and we want to help protect the environment."

The students said they want their parents and other adults to join the effort to recycle.

"Out in the county, and around Highway 40, people just throw their junk out the window," Sirk said. "We want everyone to recycle, and not just leave their garbage lying around."

Keleher said he thought part of the problem is not having enough places to recycle in town.

"It's hard to recycle here in Craig," Keleher said. "You have to drive out to a plant."

The City of Craig Voluntary Recycling Center is located at 1775 Yampa Ave..

Having students involved with recycling is important, Bowman said, because they are the ones who will continue to recycle.

"Now it's their responsibility to make Moffat County and Craig a cleaner place," Bowman said. "It's their future."

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