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Creative Writing Class Collects Trash for Earth Day

By Staff | Apr 30, 2013

Muncy High School Earth Day Creative Writing Class collected trash on the school grounds and made art work that is displayed in a glass case by the office. Bottom row (L to R): Rachael Moore, Jordan Jones, Keri Drees, Abby DeVore, Annalise Bezri; Top row (L to R): Taylor Kuntz, Meredith Griggs, Amanda Kustanbauter, Maggie Merk, Alex Kramer.

MUNCY – What does our trash say about us?

Ten students from Muncy Jr./Sr. High School’s creative writing class stepped outside the classroom on Earth Day, April 22 to collect whatever garbage they could find around the school grounds.

Alex Kramer, one of the creative writing students, collected the most garbage. He eagerly thanked anyone who contributed to his bag.”This is like an Easter egg hunt,” he said of the cleanup project.

Annalise Bezri, a senior student, sang “Picking up the trashpicking up the trash” in an operatic tone to encourage participants. In all, each student filled at least half of his/her trash bag.

“This always helps when our kids take some ownership in our facilities,” stated Jerry Knier, Building and Grounds Supervisor at Muncy Jr./Sr. High School.

The next day, using just the contents of their garbage bags, the students turned the garbage into their own titled art designs.

The students took their pieces of gum wrappers, Gatorade bottles, tennis balls, sea shells, candy wrappers, gloves, “hoodies,” Mardi Gras beads, lip balm, pencils, snack wrappers, McDonalds receipts, rulers as well as protractors and transformed the trash left behind by others into artistic works. Some of the finished projects included flowers, abstract faces, a “hoodie” design complete with accessories, as well as a tree of trash, a super hero and his hula girl, a star burst, and floral designs.

When done, the projects were titled and are now on display outside the school’s main office. The centralized theme of the display is called “Trash Talk.”

If the trash had been left on the ground, the “eye sores” would have been there for years to come. A typical tin can takes 50 years to completely decompose; an aluminum can, 80-200 years; a plastic bottle, 450 years; a glass bottle, 1 million years (U.S. National Park Service).

At the conclusion of the project, the students were more aware of the amount of trash left behind and were surprised by the variety of the trash left behind on the school grounds.