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Trash Analysis: Wake Students Pitch Too Much

Posted January 17, 2008

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— Wake County officials are sorting through the trash from about a dozen area schools this week to determine how to improve local recycling programs.

"It's definitely an intense activity," said Craig Wittig, administrative services coordinator for the county. "The best way to evaluate recycling is to see what's still being thrown away."

So crews have collected trash from 13 Wake County schools and went through it by hand. Every school is supposed to recycle paper, cans, bottles, foam trays and other items.

"We tried to take a random sample of the schools and get a representative sample of their waste," Wittig said.

So far, younger students get a better recycling grade, he said.

"What we've seen preliminarily is the younger the student, the better they are at recycling," he said. "The results are early, but elementary schools have less paper than high schools do.

"We're just looking now at how much more we can do. ... We just want to take it to the next level."

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