november 2019

An elementary school achieves quite a feat

Saint-Hugues - Saint-Marcel elementary school in the Maskoutains RCM certainly deserves praise for its exemplary environmental practices. In less than six months, the school's students managed to collect an impressive 94,000 returnable bottles and cans, raising a whopping $6,844 to fund their school activities. The containers collected are 100% recycled, as they are returned to the point of sale.

At Saint-Hugues - Saint-Marcel school, refundable/returnable containers is an activity that has long been taken very seriously. Physical education teacher François Véronneau set it up 16 years ago. Since then, he has organized two annual collections. Today, it's a skilfully orchestrated operation involving the school administration, some 50 students, several parents and some 800 local citizens and businesses.

"We've built up our network of collaborators over the years. We couldn't be this successful without the involvement of the community," explains François Véronneau. According to him, young people find this activity "really cool". It gives them a sense of pride and instills strong environmental values. In 2011, the school was one of the first in Quebec to host the Jé&Lou Consignaction Toura tour that continues to raise awareness of the importance of recycling refundable/returnable containers and healthy lifestyle habits.

The refundable/returnable containers collection is an essential source of funding for the school's sports program, as well as for its new Entrepreneurship component. Thanks to the money raised at deposit-refund, youngsters will have the chance this year to take part in a host of sporting activities outside the school, including a "Base Bootcamp" in North Hatley, an aquatic outing to the Bromont water slides, rock climbing and winter excursions on snowshoes and cross-country skis.

At the Saint-Hugues - Saint-Marcel school, deposit-refund is doing us a world of good!