LEO Club Reaches Plastic Collection Goal

Senior+and+LEO+Club+leadership+team+member%2C+Sean+Slatzer+weighs+the+plastic+collected+throughout+the+week.

Megan Marling

Senior and LEO Club leadership team member, Sean Slatzer weighs the plastic collected throughout the week.

Emma Kennedy, Staff Writer

During the 2021-22 school year, Jonathan Alder’s LEO Club organized a plastic collection project, with the ambition of collecting 500 pounds of plastic. LEO Club Advisor, Linda Peters, says that the idea for this project blossomed during the summer and early into the school year. Peters says, “It was one of those things where our leadership team wanted to come up with some new ideas and narrow down what we really wanted to work on, and we saw this opportunity.”

The plastic was collected between two locations, JAHS and Main Street Treasures. Community members would drop off plastic at these sites and LEO Club members would weigh the plastic before loading it in their cars to drop off at Giant Eagle. These stores collect items that might be harder to recycle, such as plastics, in an attempt to limit the amount of waste and recycle as much as possible and work with a company called Trex to recycle them. Trex sponsors the program LEO club used, which rewards community groups for collecting 500 pounds of plastic with a bench made out of recycled plastic. 

A few Leo club members share that their two favorite things about this project were the inclusiveness and the positive effect it had on the environment. 

Senior Erica Beachy says, “This was a good long term project because it’s something you can do at any point and just bring in plastic. The whole school can participate, not just people in LEO Club.” LEO Club Leadership team member, senior Jessica Kelley adds, “One of my favorite parts of the project was the inclusiveness. We tried to be inclusive by asking JA but also customers in town along with other schools.”  

Beachy says, “It’s an easy way to contribute without having to do a lot and I think it makes people think more about it too and they’re recycling more plastic than they were before.” 

Kelley mentioned the impact the project had on the environment as well. “During this project my family reduced plastic waste,” she says. “Overall I think this project was good for the environment.” 

In March, with the help of donations from high school students and community members, they exceeded their goal, collecting a total of 555 pounds of plastic for the bench. LEO Club members took a vote, and the bench will be located in the courtyard. 

Peters says, “I think this is a project that we can absolutely keep doing year after year. I think when we do it again in the fall people will already be on it. Each time we would be representing the fact that we’ve helped with recycling and climate control too.”