FLINT (WJRT) - (11/13/15) - Since the beginning of the semester, students at Flint Community Schools have been drinking bottled water.
That's part of the effort to keep them healthy during Flint's water emergency.
With the district emptying thousands of bottles a day, school leaders knew they had to do something to keep the environment healthy too - which is why there’s a recycling program starting at Flint Community Schools.
The district already recycles paper and cardboard. Now, they're following suit with all those water bottles.
For students, it's a very hands-on way to see recycling in action.
"I want a nice clean world. Everybody else do, too,” said fifth grader Omarion McBride.
Students at Eisenhower Elementary don't have to go far to learn about recycling. They're looking at bins in their classrooms and a dumpster outside the school every day. An assembly last week started the process.
"A lot of children knew what a dump was, so they had that visual or they had that prior knowledge. But again, the whole process of recycling was unknown,” said Principal Rachel Turner.
Turner says her school alone goes through about 2,000 bottles a week. Add in about 10 more Flint schools and you've got a lot of plastic.
Turner says the recent emphasis on recycling has gone smoothly.
"It has been a beautiful, tough, but beautiful transition, just to make sure our children have clean water to drink,” she said.
Since the kids are already learning so much about recycling, we asked them to conduct some peer-to-peer research by interviewing each other.
"Can you tell me some things about how plastic is used?" asked fifth grader Valor Goforth.
"Bags, plastic bags, plastic cups,” replied fifth grader Kortni Williams.
"I learned that blue jeans can be turned into insulation in your house,” said Meredith Willbanks.
"I did not know that,” Omarion replied.
"What’s your most favorite thing about recycling?" Kortni asked.
"Throwing it in the basket,” Valor replied.
Water is given to students during classes and after school activities.
Teachers get bottled water too, adding up to a lot of material for those recycling bins.