As recycling centers continue to close across the area, Boy Scout Troop 27 of Fredericktown has given a little hope for those looking to recycle.
Troop 27 has always collected aluminum cans from individuals, on a small scale, as a way to help offset cost of utilities for the troop. Now, the scouts have opened their collection to the community.
“Our hope for this project is to provide a way to help everyone involved,” Troop Leader Deena Ward said. “It helps the scouts pay for expenses and learn a sense of responsibility, but it also helps the community by continuing to provide a recycling option.”
Ward said the program is on a smaller scale to what the community is accustomed to and will only be accepting aluminum cans at this time.
According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), landfills received about 2.4 million tons of aluminum in 2015, showing aluminum cans were recycled at a rate of 54.9 percent. This showed that in 2015 almost half of all aluminum cans used were sent to the landfills.
Ward said, for some people, throwing the soda can away is just second nature, but she urges the community to set them aside for the scouts.
“Just over a hundred years ago, aluminum was considered rare and expensive,” Ward said. “The rate of which we recycle cans has been steadily increasing over the years but the rate is still only at a little over half of the total supply.”
Ward said it is important to her troop to raise awareness and offer this service to the community.
“Scouts ranked Life and above will be responsible for collecting and emptying out the containers, teaching them responsibility but also that a scout is resourceful,” Ward said. “Taking the opportunity to use another persons ‘trash’ to help pay their way to camp is a great way to show that.”
Ward said the kids have been very excited about the program and have been working hard to make it successful.
“They are excited to see the positive effect the project has on the troop,” Ward said. “While they think of the effects as monetary such as paying for camp, we, as leaders, look forward to seeing how it molds the troop and teaches them important life skills.”
Ward said the program teaches the scouts in more ways than one. She said it teaches financial responsibility, community service and environmental awareness.
“This is an easy way for the community to help support their local troop,” Ward said. “The entire program is possible because of the hard work of the scouts, the donations from the public and all the cans are being transported by volunteers.”
Troop 27 will be collecting aluminum cans at different locations around Fredericktown with drop-offs welcome at the scout hut located at 403 E. Marvin.
Victoria Kemper is a reporter for the Democrat News. She can be reached at 573-783-3366 email@example.com