Initiative News & Calendar
October 14, 2017
Eco project put through paces: Houghton middle-school team demos to third-grade judges
OCT 14, 2017 HOUGHTON — Houghton Middle School’s Eco Challenge team has launched two projects for its competition th ... >>more
June 8, 2017
CLK students build new outdoor learning space
CALUMET, Mich. (WLUC) - Kindergarteners and 4th graders at Calumet-Laurium-Keweenaw (CLK) Elementary have been hard at w ... >>more
June 3, 2017
Houghton High students present science research
By Garrett Neese, Daily Mining Gazette, June 2, 2017 HOUGHTON — For the sixth year, Houghton High School biology stud ... >>more


News & Announcements
Cardboard recycling launch event features fun, education
The Portage Lake District Library was not as quiet as the traditional book repository Saturday, but the kids were getting excited about waste and recycling at the Cardboard Recycling Celebration.

With activities for all ages - from a cardboard box castle for the little ones to tables where older kids could consider their lunchtime choices with waste in mind - there was plenty to keep them thinking and chattering, and plenty to share with mom and dad.

"The idea is to get the kids involved and they engage their parents," said Suzanne Van Dam, co-chair of the Copper Country Recycling Initiative, which hosted the event along with the library and some help from Joan Chadde of the Western Upper Peninsula Center for Science, Math & Environmental Education.

Copper Country kids of all ages make their own recycled paper at the Cardboard Recycling Celebration Saturday at the Portage Lake District Library. Clockwise from lower left are Janel Kangas, 5, volunteer Zack Ackerman, Irene Hillman, 13, and Oliver Hillman, 10.

Alexandra Larson, attending with her son Alan, said she thinks kid leadership can be an effective strategy.
"When I was a kid, I dragged my parents into recycling," she said.

Van Dam said the event was held primarily to celebrate the launch of the recycling center at the Houghton County Transfer Station earlier this month, and the new satellite cardboard recycling center in Chassell.

One way to celebrate was to make some use of the new opportunity by collecting cardboard on the spot and trucking it up to the Houghton County facility in Atlantic Mine. Volunteer Dave Rulison, who brought the truck with the topper, said he'd run up about three truckloads.

There were indoor activities for adults, with a 3-D printer demonstration and an educational display on possible routes to increased curbside recycling, but things were mostly focused on the kids, with about half a dozen youth-oriented stations.

"Probably the most fun is the recycling machine," Van Dam said, pointing to a cardboard box "machine" that would exchange recycled waste for finished products.
"When you put something in and get something out you see the benefits," she said.

Larson said she liked Van Dam's table, where Van Dam showed how lunchbox choices can make a difference in reducing waste - by taking portions of raisins from a big box, for example, instead of using individual little boxes.

"It's pretty neat, makes a profound statement," Larson said. "If we can make a small difference, we should."

Volunteer Raymond Naasko, 16, was leading a paper recycling activity where old Daily Mining Gazettes were pulped, bleached, pressed, decorated and dried into new decorative paper. Naasko said he'd come out to help because he saw recycling as important to everyone's future.

"We need to take care of our planet or we won't have it later on," he said.


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