Wyoming School Recognized For Environmental Excellence

Mark Levesque, Brycen Boere and Reid King collect used batteries at Wyoming's Holy Rosary Catholic School. (Photo submitted by Principal Margaret DeGurse)

A Wyoming school has received provincial recognition for its environmental stewardship.

Holy Rosary Catholic School is now a Gold-Level Ontario EcoSchool after successfully completing an extensive certification process.

Principal Margaret DeGurse says they embarked on several major initiatives, but reducing waste was a key focus for students.

“We’ve really made a focus on recycling appropriately and composting,” says DeGurse. “We’ve actually reduced our waste from seven garbage bags a day to one and students are requesting at home, ‘Let’s not use Ziploc bags or disposable bags. Let’s use reusable containers so that we’re reducing our waste output.'”

She says they’ve also become a recycling hub in the community as a “We School.”

“We are collecting batteries for Teck’s Zinc Saves Lives Battery Recycling Campaign,” she says. “So, the community and the students have been bringing in batteries and then they go to a depot, they get weighed and then they take the weight and donate that amount of Zinc to third world countries that require Zinc to help with diseases.”

In fact, in just two months, the school has collected nearly 60 pounds of used batteries.

Holy Rosary is the first school within the St. Clair Catholic District School Board to be certified as an EcoSchool.

The provincial certification requires schools to develop sustainable projects in six categories: Teamwork and Leadership, Energy Conservation, Waste Minimization, School Ground Cleaning, Curriculum and Environmental Stewardship.

Successful schools are then awarded bronze, silver, gold or platinum status based on their ability to implement and maintain projects.