WINFIELD — Robert Foor-Hogue estimates that South Carroll High School collects about a ton of recyclable materials a week.
"It just keeps growing," said Foor-Hogue, a science teacher and adviser to the Science Club, which helps run the recycling program. "It's been great. "We're so successful, the bins are here all the time."
The bins, one donated by Giant Food Co. and delivered during a much-ballyhooed visit by the governor last fall, initially were supposed to be placed at the school once a week.
But the response to recycling glass, plastic and aluminum cans has been so great among the students and faculty that the bins have remained.
South Carroll was one of two county schools chosen for a pilot recycling program by thestate. At the other, Westminster High School, the effort has met with less success.
"Interest has really waned," said Cathi Myers, a guidance counselor and Camping and Conservation Club adviser at Westminster High. "A lot of time, adolescents move from one exciting thingto another."
The county is expected to take over the recycling programs, and the state bins will be relocated to other high schools, probably on the Eastern Shore, said Harry Benson, chief of the state'sOffice of Waste Minimization and Recycling.
"We'll start a similar program there," Benson said. "These projects are kind of like planting apple seeds. Once they grow and the counties are convinced they will work, we'll move on."
Benson did not know how many other high schools across the state were recycling or how successful they had been.
Foor-Hogue attributed South Carroll's success to a couple of factors, including geography. He said the school's central location inthe southern part of the county makes it easy for elementary and middle schools that feed into South Carroll to participate.
In addition, the school boasts a volunteer force of about 200 students, mostlyScience and Environmental club members who have taken an interest inrecycling and the environment.
Foor-Hogue said that tons of whitepaper, glass and aluminum have been collected and sent to recycling centers since Gov. William Donald Schaefer visited South Carroll lastfall to kick off the program. The governor is expected to return in May.
Teachers and students at South Carroll, noting the program's success, said they would like to see recycling become mandatory in Maryland.
"It's very effective," said Lee Immler, a social studies teacher and Environmental Club adviser. "Recycling reduces trash significantly."
Westminster's efforts may not have fared as well because of the school's proximity to county recycling bins in the city and the recycling center on Route 97, Foor-Hogue said.
Other recyclingprograms are operating at other county schools, including North Carroll High, where teachers and students recycle white paper and aluminum cans.
"The response has been great," said Kelly Baxter, a science teacher and Ecology Club adviser.