15 bags of aluminum collected
For almost ten months aluminum was collected at the three sites in our school. Students and teachers and people from their surroundings collected this valuable raw material in their households. Instead of being thrown into dust bins the lids of cream, pudding, yogurt and margarine tubs as well as spray and beverage cans, candle holders, coffee capsules, films of packed lunches, aluminum trays from takeaways, pet food bowls and more were given into boxes placed the in the school buildings. Not always well-intentioned donations were useful, because not everything that glitters is aluminum. So we had always coffee bags, tablet blister, silvery sheets of curd and yoghurt pots square, silver paper sort of butter, cheese, candy and chewing gum. In many of the candle holders was still wax and the wick, which be removed before reycling, because they contaminate the batch. But since we are still at the beginning of our long-term initiative, knowledge among our donators will grow more and more.
It is easy to identify aluminum: it does not burn, it’s not magnetic and it changes shape when it is folded.
Why do we collect?
Aluminium is, in addition to copper, the most actively traded industrial metal. As a result of surface mining the bauxite, rainforests are destroyed. During further processing, the toxic red mud, which is drained into lakes and rivers in some countries, means great danger to people, animals and plants. The processing requires a high energy input and enhances the CO2 and methane emissions which are among causes of global warming.
Last but not least in countries such as Guinea, Congo and India child slaves are abused for the bauxite mining.
During the application for our Erasmus + project "European Teenage Consumers in a Globalized World" I thought it was especially important to launch this “ALU”-project at our school and raise our students’ awareness for a responsible use of this recyclable material. This valuable material is infinitely recyclable and found in almost every household in packaging and household appliances. Through recycling, we contribute to sustainability and to a reduction of waste.
, ...Each avoided packaging reduces the damage to the environment. If the consumption is inevitable, it should be recycled through the appropriate disposal systems.
Since the project "Servir" of the high school "Maria Königin" in Lennestadt has lain in my heart for years, I quickly found a contact for my concern. In various projects "Servir" is committed to the construction and maintenance of schools in Brazil and Kenya. One of these projects is collecting, sorting and the sale of aluminum.
On the last day at school before summer vacation Ruth Schröder and me stowed our "yield" of the last few months and some students into our cars and got 15 bags of aluminum to the "Alu-barn" of the high school. Anne-Katrin Lingemann and Werner Liesmann, the managers of the ALUproject, welcomed us,i.e. the class WFP 15, Nina Bundt (FOS 15) and Vivian Ostrovsky (HSG 15) and a reporter of a local newspaper. Mrs Lingemann showed us how plastic and other waste is separated from the aluminum donations and then pressed into square bales. Our students spontaneously set to work at the sorting tables and even gained more insight into the separation of waste plastic and metal recyclables from aluminum.