Agency Promotes Recycling Awareness through Short Story Contest
The Southern Sandoval County Arroyo Flood Control Authority (SSCAFCA), a governmental entity in New Mexico, is expanding their educational efforts and encouraging youth to learn the importance of recycling disposable plastic drink containers, a particular problem for area flood control facilities.
- Albuquerque, NM (1888PressRelease) September 28, 2011 - The Southern Sandoval County Arroyo Flood Control Authority (SSCAFCA), a governmental entity in New Mexico, is expanding their educational efforts and encouraging youth to learn about the importance of recycling.
SSCAFCA has launched a short story contest for all students living in their jurisdiction, the New Mexico communities of Rio Rancho, Bernalillo and Corrales. Students in fifth through eighth grades are encouraged to learn about an important issue in the region. Empty disposable drink bottles are one of the largest problems in area flood-control facilities managed by SSCAFCA. The bottles frequently collect in area dams and detention ponds, where they float during rain events and clog these facilities, resulting in frequent and costly clean-up efforts.
"We recognized the high cost of cleaning our flood control facilities, as well as the cost of manufacturing millions of plastic drink bottles," said Mark Conkling, chairman of the SSCAFCA Board of Directors. "Plastic water bottles are a particular problem for us because they float and clog our stormwater facilities. Our goal is to reduce the use of these disposable containers and increase recycling, especially in the schools and sports fields that border the SSCAFCA arroyos."
The contest, "Plastic Pete's Journey", is designed to help students learn about the resources used to make the billions of plastic bottles used in the United States each year, as well as the many benefits of recycling them.
To enter, students should write an original short story of at least 250 words, up to a maximum of 1000 words, demonstrating what they have learned about the stages in the cycle of a water bottle's life. Stories might tell, for example, the journey of crude oil and its processing into a bottle named Plastic Pete, or how a baseball player recycled his drink bottle, allowing Plastic Pete to become a new product such as a plastic waffle-ball set. Illustrations or photographs are optional to include.
Four divisions for students in grades 5, 6, 7 and 8 will be held. Public, private and home-school students are all eligible. Stories must include the student's name and grade; the name of their school and teacher; and a contact telephone number for their teacher or parent.
Each student who enters a story will receive a reusable aluminum drink bottle. Judges will select the top story in each group and those stories will be published in the Rio Rancho Observer. Additional prizes will be available.
Entry deadline is Friday, Dec. 2, 2011. Stories may be dropped off and the bottles picked up at either the SSCAFCA office at 1041 Commercial Drive SE, near Southern and Unser; Rio Rancho City Hall's Parks and Recreation office, 3200 Civic Center Circle NE; the Rio Rancho Public Schools District Office, 500 Laser Road; or at the Rio Rancho Observer, 1594 Sara Road in Rio Rancho.
"This project is a step in reducing the use of plastic water containers," said Trevor Alsop, SSCAFCA Environmental Services Director. "It provides many benefits for our facilities, our community, and our world."
This educational outreach program is part of SSCAFCA's "Recycle Roundup", a collaboration with the City of Rio Rancho and Rio Rancho Public Schools' District Environmental Resource Team. For more information, visit the education page at www.sscafca.com.