NEW MANCHESTER - Oak Glen High School students have won the national Keep America Beautiful "Recycle Bowl" competition for the third year in a row.
The competition, sponsored by Nestle Water, awards a state prize to one school in each of the 50 states that recycles the most material during the contest period - from Oct. 15 to Nov. 15 each year.
Since the competition started in 2011, Oak Glen has been the West Virginia winner each year, said George Hines of West Virginia "Make It Shine."
For their efforts, the students were awarded a plaque and a check for $1,000.
Hines' wife, sophomore English teacher Milli Hines, and her students donated the money to the homecoming committee, the special education department and other school groups that needed supplies. They also purchased a new microwave oven and coffee maker for the teacher's lounge, George Hines said.
Under the direction of Milli Hines, the students recycle paper, plastics and cans on a daily basis. In the last school year, more than 25,000 pounds of paper were collected for recycling, Hines said.
Hines said the school does its part by recycling cardboard, light bulbs, wooden pallets, used batteries, old desks and chairs, and other items. Hallways and the cafeteria are stocked with containers that the students empty every few days.
The bulk of the recycling program concentrates on paper, which is taken outside to a special dumpster. All other materials are placed in a truck and taken to the Hancock County Recycling and Convenience Center on Gas Valley Road.
Cans and bottles are separated, with pop tabs being donated to Ronald McDonald Charities and aluminum cans being turned in for cash. Proceeds, including the $317 raised last year, help fund the school recycling program, Hines said.