Tips on how to ReDUCE, ReUSE and ReCYCLE, grant opportunities and awards in this issue of Bin Thinking.
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October 2016

A Message from Jane

Now that teachers and students are settled into the routine of the new school year, it is time to get our GREEN on and get garbage down to BARE BONES! 

Jane Hiller
Education Director, Sonoco Recycling
Make a Spooky Skeleton out of Recycled Milk Jugs!

In This Issue

Green Step Schools


How can your school reduce waste?

If your school throws away disposable meal trays, consider “Tap & Stack" or a Waste Free Lunch Club

Another option is collecting organic waste for commercial composting.
For example: Dutch Fork Elementary School is collecting food and paper waste from the cafeteria. The waste is collected by SMART Recycling and delivered to ReSoil to be composted into nutrient rich soil. Dutch Fork Elementary was selected for the Richland County pilot program because of the school’s outstanding recycling efforts. We can’t wait to see how much organic waste is diverted from the school’s waste stream!


ReTHINK Contest

Up to 40 Lexington and Richland County students will be invited to participate in our annual RETHINK Contest at Saluda Shoals Park on Saturday, November 12 from 10am-Noon. Plus there is a $100 cash top prize and other fun prizes!
Encourage your students to be creative! Ask them to make a firefly sculpture (or a project decorated with fireflies) from repurposed materials. Then, email pictures and student written descriptions of your school’s best entries by November 1, 2016 to Be sure to include each student’s name and grade level.
Why fireflies?
We must spread the word about local species that are being negatively impacted by climate change. Learn more from the Summit County Citizens Voice and the National Park Service.

2016 Global Cardboard Challenge

Did you know that some area schools participate in the Global Cardboard Challenge each year? If your school is participating, please send pictures and captions of your favorite entries to
Play Video

Makers Spaces

Some area schools now have their own Makers Spaces where students are encouraged to think creatively to repurpose unwanted items. If your school has a Makers Space, please let us know with an email to We are hoping to have some exciting opportunities for you!
Making a Maker Space


Recycle Bowl 2016 is underway!
Compete against other schools to see who can recycle the most during the four-week competition. 

Learn more about the competition and get tips on how to convert the volume of your recycling container into weight.
Looking for other ways to recycle at school?
Check out these programs:
Trex School Recycling Challenge

Keep the Midlands Beautiful
Shoe Collection in April...Mark your calendars now!


Want to learn how to compost at school?

Richland County Backyard/Schoolyard Composting 101
Date: Saturday, October 15
Time: 2:00 pm-4:00 pm
Place: Ridgewood Park Community Center
Contact:, 803.865.1216 x116
Worms Ate My Lunch: Vermi Composting at Home and School
Date: Thursday, 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
Date: Thursday, October 27
Time: 4:30 pm-5:30 pm
Place: River Bluff High School
Request a classroom worm bin (one per school) from

SC Green Step Schools

If your school is participating in the SC Green Step Schools Initiative, October is the time to invite all your mentors to a fall planning meeting with your team.

Need mentors for new or existing projects? Contact


Are you going to the South Carolina Science Council Conference?

Register here:

Then look for these WILD workshops on November 3 and 4.

  •  Flying WILD Workshop (9:00 am-Noon)
  •  Growing Up WILD Workshop (1:00 pm-4:00 pm)
  •  Aquatic WILD Update from 9:00 pm-11:00 pm (if you were AW trained from 2012-2015)
  •  STEAMING with WILD in SC from 1:00 pm-2:00 pm (no registration required)

Money is available to help your school with recycling and other eco-projects. But, deadlines are quickly approaching!

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 

DUE: December 1 for EEASC Member Educators

Grants up to $300 are available to formal and informal educators to further environmental education and environmental literacy. You do have to be an active EEASC member to request a grant. 

Champions of the Environment

We are so proud of our local winners: A.C. Moore Elementary School, Bookman Road Elementary School, Deerfield Elementary School
and Dutch Fork Elementary School!
In case you missed DHEC’s Champions of the Environment Award Winners from the last school year, check out the video.
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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