Clean Team stresses recycling’s importance

John Thompson • Mar 15, 2012 at 10:49 PM

ELIZABETHTON — Students at Hunter Elementary School had a lot of fun and a lot of laughs Thursday morning as they were told about how they can recycle their waste paper.

The student body turned out to watch the zany performance by the Carter County Clean Team, a group of high school students. The boys and girls also delighted in watching some of their teachers, Carter County Mayor Leon Humphrey and Sheriff Chris Mathes, struggle to perform a few dance routines.

Amid all the laughter, the children sat quietly while Director of Schools Shirley Ellis talked with them about the difference each one of them can make when it comes to recycling.

Ellis reminded the students about how beautiful Carter County is and how important it is to work to keep it beautiful.

“We must work, we must be good stewards of our natural resources,” Ellis said. “One of the easiest ways is recycling.” She told the students the Carter County Landfill Committee is helping their effort by providing a plastic bin for each classroom.

“This is where we are asking for your help,” Ellis told the students. “When you have a piece of paper you no longer need, put it in the recycling bin. ... This will help keep tons of paper out of our landfills.”

She said the landfill has placed two trash bins at each school in the county. One will be used for all the waste paper collected in each classroom. The second bin will hold all the cardboard from food and supplies used in the school kitchen.

Ellis also asked the students to “talk to your parents about ways you can recycle.” Instead of throwing everything in the garbage, she said families can sort things like paper and cardboard and metal.

She said the Carter County Recycling Center is in Cherokee Industrial Park. There is also a recycling center in the landfill and the Roan Mountain Convenience Center.

The children laughed through several skits from the Clean Team, including one where students dressed as the Cheshire Cat and the Mad Hatter scatter trash in the Queen’s rose garden. Some of the students, dressed as playing cards, competed to clean up the mess the quickest.

For its part in making the mess, the Cheshire Cat became the Cat of Constant Sorrow, leading in to a pantomime of the famous scene from “Oh Brother, Where Art Thou?”

For the students, the most fun was watching a few of their teachers, along with Humphrey and Mathes do a few dance steps, then don the green striped jerseys of the sheriff’s litter crew.

The Clean Team, as it has in previous years, will perform and deliver their message to each elementary and middle school in Carter County. The Clean Team began in 2008. Unaka High School Senior Jessica Cantor was on that team as a freshman and is now a senior and once again a member of the team.

Other members of the Clean Team are: Myrissa Pierce, Anthony Johnson, Taylor Jenkins and Lexi Bradshaw of Unaka; Lacey Turbyfill and Renee Proffitt of Cloudland; and Kayla Eggleston of Happy Valley.

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