By Anne Marie Amacher
DAVENPORT — A new effort that will benefit Assumption High School athletics and get people thinking about recycling has been initiated at the Catholic high school.
Tim O’Neill, the boys’ and girls’ track and field coach, said he was talking with a school custodian when a comment was made regarding cleanup after various events at Assumption. “I talked with him about what we could do to help clean up,” the coach said.
O’Neill thought a good service project for his teams would be to collect recyclable items at events held in the gym, particularly for girls and boys basketball and for wrestling.
So after receiving approval, the team placed recycling containers in the gym for year-round use. “We will go around and pick up the bottles,” he said.
Their first experience was Dec. 1 at a scrimmage game between Assumption and Regina Junior/Senior High School from Iowa City. Many people put their bottles in the new containers, but O’Neill said plenty went into the regular garbage can. Some people also put their garbage in the recycling bins. So the team will work to educate people about the recycling program.
After all home games and various events in the gym, the track and field athletes, headed by a captain, will collect and bag the bottles. They will help pick up bottles lying around the facility and bottles inadvertently placed in the garbage.
O’Neill will then take the bottles to a redemption center. Any money collected from the bottles will be put into the track and field budget.
To make sure athletes help collect the items, O’Neill has been working with the team captains who support the idea. The captains have been scheduled for games and are to make rosters of assistants. “Many of our players attend the games already,” O’Neill said. So it should not be hard to find help.
In addition to collecting bottles at the school, O’Neill and the team are willing to pick up plastic bottles and aluminum cans at area organizations and private residences. “People aren’t always into recycling. We hope this might get them to think about it — even if it’s just a start with bottles and cans.”
Through this service project, O’Neill hopes the athletes and students in general learn a new life skill and develop good habits about recycling and appreciate how it helps the environment.
Captain Ragan Duax said the recycling effort is a good idea. “It’s an easy way for us to make some money for our program and help the environment.”
Captain Jordan Youngerman said he hopes that throughout the winter season people at the games will get the hang of recycling.
Duax was at the Assumption-Regina game and said she felt the first-time collection went better than expected. “It’s something they will need to get used to doing.”
To have your empty cans or bottles picked up, or for more information, contact O’Neill at (641) 757-7934 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.