The Tilden Tigers’ DT Philly project began simply enough, with an observation that trash and littering was a problem in classrooms and other spaces at their school. Digging deeper—literally—the team analyzed what was piling up in and spilling out of the school trash receptacles and in so doing realized that a great deal of waste could be diverted if students and staff were knowledgeable about and able to recycle and compost. With that discovery, the team’s project shifted from being a clean school initiative to being a clean and green school initiative!
In the months since the team presented their final project at the 2018 DT Philly Showcase, they’ve been working hard to implement their ideas for educating their peers and initiating change at Tilden. Their accomplishments to date include designing materials to explain and encourage clean and green behaviors, partnering with students in Tilden’s WHYY Media Lab program to write and film a news segment about composting, conducting a BINventory to assess the school’s need for trash and recycling containers and acquire more, decorating new trash cans to draw students’ attention to them in an effort to reduce littering, and recruiting students to serve as Recycling Ambassadors who break down boxes and collect recycling in the first floor classrooms and the school’s food pantry. Going forward, the team plans to obtain a composting bin and divert some of the school’s food waste to generate compost for the school garden.
Among the materials team members produced for their project was a short animation illustrating proper waste disposal practices. This animation not only promoted the team’s goals in a fun and engaging way but also won first place in the middle school division at the School District’s Technology Fair!