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Pittsfield Schools Praised for Recycling

By Joe DurwinSpecial to iBerkshires
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Mayor Daniel Bianchi congratulates the Pittsfield schools for their recycling efforts that have saved the city thousands of dollars. Pittsfield High Principal Tracey Benson joined him at the steps of PHS on Monday.
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Mayor Daniel Bianchi and other city officials on Monday hailed successes of recycling efforts in city public schools that they say have saved local taxpayers as much as $30,000 annually.

At a press conference on the steps of Pittsfield High School, the mayor presented commendations to representatives from each public school in acknowlegdement of their achievements implementing aggressive recycling in recent years.

Pittsfield residents dispose of about 16,800 tons of solid waste each year, or about 1 ton per household, Bianchi said in his proclamation from the high school steps. Through increased efforts in recent years, Pittsfield schools have achieved a recycling rate of about 30 percent, resulting in an estimated municipal savings of around $30,000 per year.

Bianchi praised both students and staff, from administrators to custodial staff, for their diligence in these efforts.

"Pittsfield schools' recycling program got very serious about its mission a few years ago," said Bianchi, "and like all missions that are successful, it had some excellent leaders."

"Doing well by the environment is not only the right thing to do, but the smart thing, from an ecological standpoint," the mayor told the assembled crowd of students and staff. "Whereas the 20th century was a century that unfortunately polluted a lot of our world, I am so positive that the 21st century is going to be noted as a century where we took back control of protecting our environment, and you kids are going to be the leaders of doing that."

The Center for Environmental Technologies was recognized for its help in coordinating and supporting this effort.

John Majercak, director of CET, said the difference between now and when the center began 15 years ago "is that this is really becoming the regular way that we do things."

"Thank you so much for being part of it," Majercak said, "and for making our job easier by doing all that you are."

In acknowledgement of their success in increasing recycling to its current level, the city presented each school with a "2012 Green Ribbon Certificate of Recognition."

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