New Green Team recycles at Paradise Knoll

New club collaborates with high school students and yields successful program

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This year, Paradise Knoll School introduced a new Green Team club for students. According to the club’s advisors Brian Leslie and Joyce Troast, the club members decided that they wanted to focus on recycling. The students had an idea to build a “recycling center” for the school, but they would need some help to make their idea come to fruition.

The club reached out to the West Milford High School Building Trades teacher, Stephen Beattie, and sent him some ideas and pictures of what they were looking to build. Beattie and his Wood 3/Building Trades students were completely on board to help the hopeful young club members make their ideas become a reality.

High School students Alex Manthey and Lukas Graf worked together with Beattie on the project design, and also led their fellow Wood 3/Building Trades classmates in the construction of the project. Students Ian DuBois, Victor Marchiafava, Jerry Nendz, Chase Barker, and Alex Poelzing all worked on fabrication and assembly of the project.

The results were exactly what the Green Team students were hoping for: a recycling center for their school, with various levels and containers for students to effortlessly dispose of different types of recyclable waste separately, making collecting and sorting recyclables an easier task.

The PK Green Team reached out to companies to arrange programs for returning recyclable materials. The Green Team periodically returns the collected recyclable items to the companies for reuse/repurpose, and receives a small return payment for those items from the company. The program is similar to the deposit/return program that has long been available in some states for glass and plastic bottles and aluminum cans, but encompasses more types of recyclable materials and direct return to companies.

“We could not be more happy with the design and the willingness of the high school Building Trade Department to collaborate with us," said Leslie. "Their help has already helped our Green Team raise $25 in recycled goods that companies are buying back.”

Leslie recalled that one PK Green Team member “nailed it on the head” with a comment they made about the program: “Who would of thought that recycling not only helps our environment, but it also can put money in our pockets."

Very insightful and on target, young recycler!

For more information about the PK Green Team Club and their recycling program, contact club advisors at or

For more information about the WMHS Building Trades department, contact

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West Milford, NJ