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April 19, 2011 > Cans and computers make a change

Cans and computers make a change

High school freshmen work together to make an environmental difference

By Rajeswari Ramanathan
Photos By Riju Krishna

Irvington High School has a legacy of Change Projects and increasing the number of service hours freshmen complete every year. Change Project, as the name suggests, is a year-long freshmen benchmark in which students have to choose an environmental issue and work to eradicate or "change" the issue.

One of the highlighted projects includes e-waste and scrap metal recycling by four freshmen students: Kartikeya Krishna, Sanjeev Reddy, Danish Vaid, and Zubin Mehta. They were thankful for advisors, English teacher Liz O'Connor and science teacher Poonam Sharma, who prepared them for the project. In addition to presenting their completed assignment for Irvington High freshmen and Horner Jr. High School students, the group recently showed their work to Amy Rakley, of Fremont's Climate Action Plan and Ken Pianin, Solid Waste Manager of the Environmental Services Division.

This student group worked with Irvington teacher, Mr. Clint Johns, for their service activity, collecting 5,719 pounds of e-waste ranging from broken camcorders to flat-screen televisions. They also collected 130 pounds of scrap metal recycled by Elite Recycling Services. Compensation fees of $171 were generously donated to the Irvington Science Department.

Kartikeya Krishna said, "I learned how to communicate ideas more thoroughly and make formal presentations. I was able to apply and practice the school-wide outcomes at Irvington High School: Personal and Social responsibility, Communication, and Critical Thinking."

In addition to the collection drive, the students also cleaned the streets in the Irvington and Weibel area by picking up trash and passing out educational flyers to the public. Krishna said that while many people are motivated to recycle, many don't know how to properly dispose of their electronics.

"If just catering to the near Irvington District in Fremont and garnering 5,719 pounds, the amount of electronic waste we could save if we applied this statewide could very well be exponentially greater," said Krishna. "I've definitely become a more responsible person because of Change Project."

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