10-year-old teaches neighbors to recycle

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FRUIT HEIGHTS -- A 10-year-old girl played a big part in turning her community "green." The fifth-grader spent her summer break knocking on doors, informing her neighbors about green waste recycling in Fruit Heights.

"I feel really proud and happy. I know I did something better for the environment," Alexandria Cooley said.

She needed a service project for a voluntary school project. Her mother, Janet, was following the fate of proposed Green Waste Recycling city program that wasn't generating enough interest to pass and suggested Alexandria make that her project. So, they mapped out the city, picked routes, and Alexandria hit the streets.

"I went from door-to-door asking them to fill out a postcard that said [if] they wanted to do it or not do it," Alexandria explained.

If residents decided to do it, they would pay $6 a month and trade in a blue garbage can for a green one--committing to recycle green waste.

"You put grass clippings, produce, sawdust and wood in it," Alexandria explained. "And they pick it up when they regularly pick up the blue cans."

Going above and beyond her school project criteria, Alexandria logged 59 hours and was able to get enough responses from residents for the city to offer the program.

"I counted them up, and out of all the residents, she got all but 96 responses; and she was responsible for 36 percent of the yeses," Janet said.

Not bad for a fifth-grader.

"I'm very proud--proud she wanted to do this and make a difference in her community," Janet said.

Alexandria says it makes her feel good knowing all the recycled green waste will stay out of Davis County's landfill. It will instead go to the compost pile, where residents can buy compost for their gardens.

"When you recycle, the earth is better," Alexandria said.

During the winter months, residents can put regular trash in the green can. The Green Waste Recycling program is only in the spring and summer months.

E-mail: abutterfield@ksl.com

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