Wondering if your old, torn note books, text books or paper you scribbled on could be put to some good use? Well, recycling is the answer one can even try at home and quite a number of schools have introduced it as a practical component.

Apart from donating books to underprivileged children as part of just-concluded Aviva The Great Wall of Education, presented by The Hindu, each of the unusable books will be sent for recycling.

For instance, a similar drive initiated by Aviva in New Delhi last year, generated over 1.20 lakh books, of which 35,000 – 40,000 were sent for recycling. The recycled paper was converted into drawing books for underprivileged children.

Environment matters

Chart paper, answer sheets and other unusable waste generated on city school campuses are recycled by some schools to take shape as envelopes, paper bags, or greeting cards.

Bala Vidya Mandir initiated the recycling principle last year and since this academic year it is a part of the curriculum for class XII, where students are awarded grades based on their level of involvement.

Nearly 100 folders, 150-200 envelopes used as invites and thank you cards are among the products designed by students.

Different stages such as soaking the used paper, grinding the pulp in a mixer, making paper out of the pulp and drying it are undertaken by the entire class, guided by three teachers. At Kendriya Vidyalaya – IIT campus, students of classes VI to X are involved, with every class getting at least one period a week.

Shri AMM Murugappa Chettiar Research Centre with the sponsorship from National Council for Science and Technology Communication, New Delhi is working with 10 schools each in the city and in Puducherry to make science more fun and interesting by eco-friendly kits and support.

Exnora International's ‘Paper man paper retrieve drive' launched in July, 2010 in 20 schools promise to reach out to more schools in the coming months. “If you recycle 60 kg of paper, you save one full grown tree” goes the caption where students bring old newspapers and used paper from the school campus for recycling.

Students are shown how recycling is done and the products made from the recycled paper are sent to schools, say Exnora organisers. However, schools say it is not easy implementing such practical components in the school calendar. More time, resources and dedicated teachers who can take such ‘work experience' sessions are key, say Mahalakshmi Shankar and Shanthi Vasu, teachers of Bala Vidya Mandir.

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