Gilbertsville-Mount Upton Elementary and Morris Middle/High Schools were the top recyclers of film plastic in this year’s Otsego County Plastic Film Recycling Challenge. Students from eight schools participated in this year’s challenge, which was sponsored by the Otsego County Solid Waste Department and Otsego County Conservation Association.

“Even though the state has had a plastic bag recycling law since 2009, we find that many people are still unaware of it,” said Otsego County Recycling Coordinator, Shane Digan. “The challenge is a good way to raise awareness of this, and to keep film plastics out of the main recycling stream.”

According to a press release from Jeff O'Handley, OCCA's program director, "students in Gilbertsville-Mount Upton Elementary School collected a total of 786.8 pounds of bags and film plastic, equal to 3.9 pounds per student. At Morris, students in the middle/high school gathered 246.8 pounds, or 1.6 pounds per student.

“The kids did a great job taking this message home to their parents and community,” said Jeff O’Handley, OCCA’s program director. “We hope they will continue recycling now that the competition is over.”

Schools were recruited in October and early November, Digan said. The challenge officially begain on November 15, 2019, which is America Recycles Day. The challenge was scheduled to run until mid-April, but was cut short due to COVID-19.

In addition to Morris and Gilbertsville-Mount Upton, participating schools included Greater Plains Elementary School in Oneonta, Worcester and Richfield Springs.