Otis School Students Win Massport’s Environmental Challenge

July 16, 2012
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An East Boston elementary school won an environmental challenge sponsored by Massport and Radio Disney.

Third grade students from the James Otis School collected the most plastic bottle caps and won the grand prize of $2,500 that will be used for educational purposes courtesy of Massport.

The Otis school was one of five third grade classes in Eastie that collected more than fifteen hundred pounds of plastic bottle caps this past school year as part of a competition to promote recycling.

The challenge was part of a larger environmental awareness campaign sponsored by Massport that included Radio Disney performers visiting schools to entertain students with upbeat performances focusing on the environment.

To instill environmental awareness, Massport challenged the students in each class to participate in a bottle cap recycling program with other Eastie schools.

The four runner-up schools received $300 gift cards from Framingham-based Staples, Inc.  Participating schools included the Curtis Guild School, Patrick J. Kennedy School, Hugh R. O’Donnell School, and Umana Academy.

“This initiative brought an environmental awareness program to more than 200 elementary school children and challenged them to apply what they learned at home,” said Massport Interim CEO and Executive Director David Mackey. “We enjoyed the classroom experience and the student’s excitement and we thank the Boston Public Schools for the opportunity to connect with the children in such a meaningful way.”

All bottle caps collected by students will be donated by Massport to Artists for Humanity where they will be used to create an art exhibit to be displayed at a Massport facility.  For twenty years, Artists for Humanity has been empowering and employing Boston teens in a uniquely intensive program of arts, creativity and enterprise.

Among all plastic, one of the least commonly recycled items are the caps used to seal plastic containers according to capscando.org, an organization dedicated to plastic cap recycling. Historically, most recyclers have required that caps be removed from the bottle and left out of the recycling bin. Fortunately, the City of Boston allows for the recycling of plastic containers including caps and lids.

In the photo to the right Massport challenged East Boston elementary school students to collect plastic bottle caps as part of a recycling challenge. Third graders from Sheila Hanson-Fazzolari’s class at the James Otis School collected 680 pounds of caps and received $2,500 for educational purposes from Massport.

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