Grant opportunites, contests, and can't-miss events in this issue of Bin Thinking.
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September 2016

A Message from Jane

School is back in session and many are already getting environmental projects underway!
We hope you will:
  • Attend a Green Step Training (details below)
  • Email a Green Step project form to to let us know what projects you would like to participate in this school year
  • Schedule a fall meeting with your Green Step team and mentors
We hope to hear from you soon!

Jane Hiller
Education Director, Sonoco Recycling

In This Issue

New School Recycling Plans Released
Even More Ways to Recycle
Grants Update
Teacher Training Opportunities
Calendar of Events
School Spotlight

Area schools are busy pulling together new
recycling plans.

Confirmed plans:
Richland One
Schools are placing cardboard only in their parking lot recycling containers. These containers are being serviced by Ard’s Container Service.
Richland Two
Schools are now placing cardboard only in their parking lot recycling containers. These containers are being serviced by Ard’s Container Service. Schools also have 90 gallon roll carts for comingled materials including clean paper, plastic bottles and metal cans. Roll carts are being serviced by county haulers. Each school will send a representative to training:

Date: September 1
Time: 4:30 pm - 5:30 pm
Location: Richland Two Conference Center at Columbia Mall

Private Schools
Several private schools have started recycling programs with Anchor Recycling. For details, contact,

Got Food Waste?

One out of six South Carolinians are food insecure, yet food waste is the single largest component sent to landfills. In 2013, food waste accounted for 21 percent (35.2 million tons) of the nation's waste. Don't Waste Food SC is working towards a goal of reducing food waste in the state by 50 percent by 2030. Consider attending a compost workshop.

Richland County Backyard/Schoolyard Composting 101

October 15
Time: 4:30 pm- 6:00 pm
Place: Ridgewood Park Community Center
Contact:, 803.865.1216 x116

Worms Ate My Lunch: Vermi Composting at Home and School 

October 20
Time: 4:30 pm- 6:00 pm
Place: Lower Richland High School​
Contact:, 803.576.2491

Request a classroom worm bin (one per school) from ​

Lexington County Compost Workshop

October 27
Time: 4:30 pm- 5:30 pm
Place: River Bluff High

Request a classroom worm bin (one per school) from

Got Plastic Wrap?

Many types of plastic bags and plastic wrap can now be recycled - but NOT at your home or in school roll carts!

Check out these great resources:

Got Textbooks?

The S.C. Department of Corrections has done a terrific job picking up textbooks from Midlands schools for many years, but they sometimes struggle to keep up with demand. We still recommend you call them to schedule a pickup, but when they are swamped, they will suggest you contact Better World Recycling.
SC Department of Corrections
Kathy Baker:
Better World Recycling
Shawn Lange:

Got Creativity?

The Midlands Recycling & Sustainability Alliance will once again offer their RETHINK Contest for K-12 students in Lexington and Richland Counties. This year’s theme is FIREFLIES, which highlights a local species being affected by climate change. 
Students can use re-purposed materials to create a firefly or a re-purposed object decorated with fireflies. Up to 30 K-12 students will be invited to participate in this regional contest. The top prize will be $100 in cash. 

Contest Entries Due

Date: November 1
Details: Teachers can submit entries by emailing a picture and a student-written description. Be sure to include the name and grade level of the student. 

Contest Event

Date: November 12
Time: 10:00 am-12:00 pm
Location: Saluda Shoals Park

If You Could Speak to a Tree, What Would You Say? 

In this year’s Arbor Day Youth Contest, Richland County preK-12 students are invited to explore this prompt through any of three creative outlets: Greeting Cards, Emails or Performance Art. Winning entries will receive cash prizes! Entries are due October 21, 2016.
Money is available to help your school with recycling and other eco-projects. But, deadlines are quickly approaching:

DUE: September 15 - Palmetto Pride-
Litter Trashes Everyone

This grant is open to any accredited elementary, middle and high school in South Carolina. It's designed to educate students on why they should help keep their state clean and attractive. 

Contact: Sherryl Jenkins

Due: Sept. 30 - DHEC Recycling and Education Grant

Available to schools to promote awareness of solid waste issues. All projects must include a used oil awareness project. 

Contact: Stefani Vandiver or call 1-800-768-7348.

DUE: October 1 - Learn to Farm $500 Classroom Mini-Grants 

This $500 mini-grant supports projects that include production agriculture crops and/or activities related to successfully growing and producing food or fiber. 

DUE: October 7 - Conservation Mini-Grants, Richland County Schools

$500 mini-Grants may be used to support conservation-related student projects including, but not limited to, outdoor classrooms, school gardens, nature trails, wildlife habitats, rain barrels, composting initiatives, air quality campaigns, litter clean-ups, rain gardens, erosion control, and stream bank restoration.

DUE: October 17 - Champions of the Environment 

This yearly competition awards up to eight K-12 environmental projects with grants worth up to $2,000!

Contact: Amanda Ley 

Southeast Middle School

Southeast Middle School STEM club model video
Southeast Middle School’s Recycling Team is featured in an IngenuitySC video. Check it out!

SC Green Step Schools and Mentors earn awards for model quality eco projects!

Teachers and mentors are required to attend a training to get started. Returning teachers and mentors are also encouraged to attend, to share success stories and receive updates and new project ideas. 

Lexington County Teachers
September 22
Time: 4:00-5:30 pm
Location: Pleasant Hill Elementary School

Richland County Teachers
September 29
Time: 4:00-5:30 pm
Location: Conder Elementary Arts Integrated Magnet School

Project Learning Tree

Free workshops for schools that want to train their entire staffs.

Project Learning Tree Workshop for PreK-8 Teachers

Help your students develop positive impressions about nature and lifelong social and academic skills. 

Date: October 22
Location: Harbison State Forest

Project Learning Tree Climate Change Secondary Workshop

This workshop will equip educators to teach about the complex topic of climate change, its effects on our forests and climate change mitigation. We will focus on the Congaree National Park Southeastern Forests & Climate Change and Focus on Forests modules.   

Date: December 3
Location: Congaree National Park 

Sept. 1-15 - Green Apple Day of Service

Register your school for a “done-in-a day” eco project, and let us know how we can help. Projects can take place anytime during September. 

Contact: Jane Hiller

September 15

Midlands Recycling Alliance Homeschool Recycling Class for High School Students 
Time: 2:30 pm-3:30 pm
Location: SC State Museum
Sonoco Recycling is a proud member of the Sonoco Family, a global provider of consumer packaging, industrial products, protective packaging and packaging supply chain services.
Copyright © 2016 Sonoco Recycling, All rights reserved.

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