SOW: Candice Mashburn November 03, 2008

Spreading the green around

Candice Mashburn started a recycle program at FMHS. She hopes to expand it district wide

Candice Mashburn likes to keep a green outlook on life.

She eats from organic food producers such as Annie’s Homegrown and drives her Subaru wagon as little as possible.

The senior at Fruita Monument High School also helped spearhead an effort at her school that could lead to a district-wide recycling renaissance. The yellow recycling bins throughout Fruita Monument are Mashburn’s doing, and the School District 51 administration is paying enough attention that those bins may soon be found at schools across the valley.

“It’s not a noble thing,” Mashburn said. “We just need them.”

Mashburn’s efforts started small last year, when she lobbied a local trash service for recycling bins and pick-up service. The company furnished 10 free cardboard bins for the school, but Mashburn said she had to drive the trash to the recycling location.

“It was getting kinda gross,” Mashburn said.

She left school for a 10-week trip to Nepal with her parents, Mashburn said, and her friend, who kept up the recycling removal in her absence, formed the Fruita Monument recycling club to have some extra hands in the trash removal.

This year, Mashburn said she decided to seek out a more efficient recycling program and settled on Monument Refuse, which offered free servicing.

Mashburn applied for a local environment grant and was awarded $3,000, which funded the purchase of yellow plastic recycling bins and classroom recycling bins, she said.

“It’s caught on really quickly at school,” Mashburn said. “People are being very responsible.”

The recycling club, at 35 members, empties the bins.

The grant also funded a waste-stream analysis, which showed an “amazing” amount of what was being recycled at the school would have otherwise contributed to waste pollution, Mashburn said.

The district is looking at the results and using them to determine whether Fruita Monument’s program can
expand district-wide.

“It would be tough for the district,” Mashburn said. “You need to secure servicing and the people to man the bins.”

Mashburn said the United States is behind in its conservation efforts, and she would know. Mashburn has three full passports documenting her global traveling.

She lived in Nepal with her family when she was younger, Mashburn said, and her parents wanted to take her back before she graduated. She also traveled to Thailand, New Zealand and across Europe.

“I had horrible culture shock coming back from Nepal,” she said. “I forgot how fortunate life is here.”

GPA: 4.14.

Parents: Jay and Rebecca.

Preferred college: University of Colorado at Boulder.

Where she sees herself in five years: traveling for fun and with the Peace Corps.

Favorite music: Juanes.

Favorite TV show: “I barely ever watch TV,” she said.

Personal hero: Gandhi. “He just got it right,” she said.

I’m most proud of: the recycling club grant being approved.


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