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Student project reduces waste and saves money

LOVELAND, Ohio (Scott Dimmich) -- A local high school student gets a big cash prize, but instead of spending it he puts the money to good use.

What started out as a grant for a science project ends up helping our environment and saving an entire school district money.  Loveland High School Junior, Casey Smith, got a 10,000 dollar grant to turn trash into treasure.  Smith wanted to spread recycling and composting success around the district.

He said, "Instead of having people bring less food or eat less food we decided to spread that waste.  So all the food scraps will go in the compost, all the chip bags will go in the teracycle, all the Ziploc bags would also go in the teracycle."

Casey was determined to make not just his cafeteria zero waste, he wanted to advance the program to the middle and intermediate school.  He got a grant from the Hamilton County Solid Waste District to do it.

Loveland High School teacher Tracy Burger said, "And he was the one that got the money together with the grant to provide bins, signage, hauling fees, etc. to make the compost initiative go."

The volume of trash for 1,500 student at Loveland High School is down to just two bags.  Principal Chris Kloesz couldn't be happier!

"We are saving tens of thousands of dollars in plastic bags alone.  We're saving thousands of dollars in garbage pick up each year," Kloesz said.

Casey said he did it because, "It's great for the environment.  We're helping so many people.  I calculated that we, each year, save about 11,000 bags of trash from the landfill.  And that's pretty much given the Rumpke company a few more months to live."

Loveland school officials say other districts want to learn more about how the program works.  They've even gotten interest from the Newport Aquarium.
 


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