The artificial field, 8-lane track and tennis courts are not the only new additions to the Coginchaug Regional High School athletic complex.
Earlier this month, the Environmental Coginchaug Organization (ECO) installed five new recycling bins around the complex and at Allyn Brook Park as part of an effort to encourage visitors to the area to recycle.
"The kids were saying they're all over the athletic complex, Gatorade bottles, Powerade bottles, and that it would be nice to have something to put them in and that they get recycled," said teacher Susan Michael, who serves as advisor to the student club.
The recycling bins - which are shaped like giant soda bottles, a feature Michael said is more "eye-catching" - should only be used for beverage containers made from plastic, aluminum or glass. Containers should be completely emptied before they are tossed into the recycling bins Michael said.
In the first week, ECO collected 122 beverage containers, about half of which were redeemable for deposit. The money raised from the bins will be used to fund future ECO projects.
"Containers that are not redeemable are recycled, so we're taking them out of the waste stream as well," Michael explained.
Last fall, ECO received a $500 grant from the Rockfall Foundation to pay for ten bins. The group raised an additional $700 through fundraising efforts to cover the total cost.
"We've sold pencils made out of recycled newspapers. We collect used ink cartridges and sell them to a company in California. Probably our biggest fundraiser was the bottle collection during the Durham Fair. We split the profit with Boy Scout Troop 27," she explained.
ECO plans to keep records of how many bottles are recycled and share the success of the project with the Rockfall Foundation this fall, during its Annual Meeting.
Editor's Note: If you notice the bottle bins are full of recyclables please feel free to contact Susan Michael at 860-349-7215 ext. 235.