Westford Kid Pioneers Community-Based Upcycling Program
An 11 year old Westford boy has taken matters into his own hands when it comes to helping his neighborhood become greener. Leighton Fischer, a Fifth Grader at Westford’s Crisafulli School, has pioneered a neighborhood-based Upcycling program that he hopes can be replicated in neighborhoods all over his home town and beyond.
An environmentally conscious youngster, Leighton was first introduced to Upcycling in his Third Grade classroom. Sustainable Westford’s Upcycle It! Program encourages local schools to collect items such as granola bar wrappers and chip bags, that can’t typically be recycled. These items are then sent to a company called TerraCycle (http://www.terracycle.com/) that creates useful items and pays per item donated. Leighton demanded that his family create an Upcycling bin at home, but despite being staunch recyclers, they never came through.
This Spring, Leighton and his family decided to finally educate themselves about Upcycling. Sustainable Westford had been collecting items at Starbucks, The Library and the Farmer’s Market, but, resources have only allowed their message to carry so far. Leighton decided to become the first Upcycling “Neighborhood Ambassador” and with Sustainable Westford’s blessing, the typically shy youngster went door to door, educating his neighbors about Upcycling and encouraging them to collect items to be dropped at his house.
Leighton’s neighborhood just collected their first 11 lbs and he is looking forward to recruiting more neighbors on adjacent streets. He hopes that, one day, every neighborhood will have someone like him and collecting Upcycling will be as pervasive as recycling has become in recent years. If you live in Westford’s Parker Village area and would like to join Leighton’s program or if you know a young person that may be interested in becoming their own Neighborhood Upcycling Ambassador, please contact Leighton at firstname.lastname@example.org.
About Upcycle It!:
As part of Sustainable Westford’s mission to provide “green” programs to the community, the Upcycle It! program collects non-recyclables such as drink pouches, chip bags, granola bar wrappers, and more to keep them out of landfills. Upcycle It! has raised $11,759.80 for Westford schools and saved 6,649 lbs. of trash from the waste stream!