In Jan. 17-23, 2008 issue
By Derek Aaron, Times Journal Reporter
and Falisha Stephens
RCHS Environmental Science Student
Mrs. Vickie Blakey, teacher of the environmental science class at RCHS makes a point as Chad Gosser of Kroger looks on. Gosser explained his company’s recycling program to the students.
RUSSELL SPRINGS - Students in Mrs. Vickie Blakey's new Environmental Science class at Russell County High School have decided to make a difference in the community and world, by recycling.
Last Friday, Chad Gosser spoke with the class about the recycling program at Kroger. Gosser is an assistant manager at Kroger.
He told the class about a highly successful recycling program that is currently being used at the 160 Kroger grocery stores across the company's mid-south division as well as in other parts of the country.
For a while now, Kroger has offered free recycling of plastic and paper shopping bags. Gosser said the bags go to Kroger's main office in Louisville before being shipped to a recycling center.
The center recycles the bags into landscaping bricks, new bags and plastic lumber.
Kroger accepts any and all types of plastic grocery and shopping bags for recycling, not just theirs alone. Dry cleaning bags, paper towel bags and plastic wrap are also accepted. Although not as prevalent as they once were, all paper bags are also accepted.
A new feature Kroger has unveiled is reusable grocery bags. These bags can be either insulated or non-insulated.
Non-insulated Kroger bags cost only 99 cents with a four cent rebate every time it is used at the grocery. Another option is to bring a bag of your own and still get the four cent rebate.
Gosser said the company is in the process of making a biodegradable bag that can be used for people who don't recycle.
He said the grocery store has really put forth an effort to make this community a recycle-friendly one. He encouraged the class to jump on the recycling bandwagon.
"The class is learning about the impact of human development as well as becoming a service-oriented class to better our community," Blakey said.
"Guest speakers have been invited to come and speak to the class about recycling, protecting our natural habitat as well as educating us about current programs," she said.
"A variety of projects has been and is being planned for this semester."
Gosser said Kroger goes through 96,000 plastic bags every week and a half. That works out to a little more than four bags per customer. Every plastic bag that is made costs Kroger around five cents.
The company also recycles all of its own cardboard. "We send back about 1,000 pounds per day of it."
In 2006, the mid-south division recycled more than 30,000 tons of cardboard.
Kroger operates under approximately 30 banners nationwide.
Shanna Darnell, a RCHS teacher and sponsor of the high school's PRIDE club, said the school recently received a $4,720 grant from PRIDE to buy containers needed to start a recycling program.
In addition, $500 was awarded to start the club at the school. Members of the PRIDE club learn about the environment in fun but informative ways as well as mentoring young students and performing community service activities.
All paper, plastic bottles and newspapers can now be recycled at the high school. The students are becoming better stewards and are benefiting the entire community with the recycling projects they're undertaking, Darnell said.