Québec elementary school has a big win
Saint-Hugues – Saint-Marcel Elementary School, located in the Regional County Municipality of Maskoutains, certainly merits high praise for its outstanding environmental practices. In less than six months, students at the school succeeded in collecting the impressive number of 94,000 refundable bottles and cans, allowing them to amass the considerable sum of $6,844, which was used to fund school activities. When returned to the point of sale, containers like these are 100% recycled.
At Saint-Hugues – Saint-Marcel Elementary, collecting refundable containers is an activity they have been taking seriously for a long time now. Physical Education teacher François Véronneau first set up the project some 15 years ago. Since then, he has been organizing two annual collections. Today, it is a well-oiled operation that involves the school administration, some 50 students, a number of parents and over 800 local citizens and businesses.
As François Véronneau explains, “Over the years, we have built up our network of collaborators. We couldn’t have achieved such success without mobilizing the local community.” He adds that the youngsters think it’s “really cool.” It gives them a feeling of pride at the same time as it instils strong environmental values. In 2011, the school was one of the first in Québec to receive a visit from the Tournée Jé&Lou Consignaction, which visited schools in Québec to heighten awareness of the need to return refundable containers and develop good lifestyle habits. It is still active today.
The collection of returnable containers is a source of essential financing for the school’s Sports program, as well as for its new Entrepreneurship project. Thanks to the funds raised, students will have an opportunity this year to participate in a range of sports activities taking place outside school, including a “Base Bootcamp” in North Hatley, an outing to the water slides in Bromont, a climbing activity and winter excursions on snowshoes or cross-country skis.
It can be said of Saint-Hugues – Saint-Marcel Elementary that the deposit system does the trick!