In 2011, the Recycling Patrol was launched – a pilot project of environmental education in schools in Timisoara. Scenarios based on the evolution of other similar initiatives gave us chances to “survive” for about 2-3 years, even if the need for extra-curricular programs in the field was very high.
However, 9 years later, in 2020, we talk about the Recycling Patrol as a platform of excellence in environmental education at national level, in pre-university education, with the approval of the Ministry of National Education and in partnership with local School Inspectorates.
Records, awards, performances
In 9 years of continuous evolution of the program, 119,000 students and teachers have raised the level of information and awareness of their communities regarding to the responsible collection of e-waste. Due to the constant creativity of the program team, the local efforts of the volunteers had a spectacular impact – over 7,400,000 kg of e-waste collected throughout the country, 6,500,000 people informed about the importance of this approach, 2,600 companies and institutions “conquered” as Supporters .
The program involved thousands of teachers from kindergartens, schools, high schools in hundreds of large and small towns, communes and villages in the country. The registered educational units have become permanent centers of information and mobilization of the community for the e-waste separate collection. For many of the volunteer children, the Recycling Patrol paved the way for permanent involvement in environmental responsibility projects.
It is the program with the most significant impact in adopting the habit of e-waste separate collection by the communities involved, an impact recognized and appreciated by the pan-european center of excellence WEEE Forum and the European Commission’s Directorate-General for the Environment. Named “Best Program of the Year” at the Civil Society Gala 2015, the Recycling Patrol will move to the next level in 2020.
At the new edition, a new mission – 20 eco ideas, among the “hot” topics of the moment
In 2020, the program continues in partnership with the RoRec Association, under the coordination of the Volens Association, and is extended to promote environmentally beneficial habits. The ninth edition started in force, at the beginning of the year, with the Manifesto of the 20 eco ideas for 2020, issues of global concern related to environmental protection and combating climate change. The Patrol list includes topics such as the separate collection of all recyclable waste, reducing the use of disposable plastic, saving natural resources, giving up habits that increase water and air pollution, responsibility in consumer behavior, permanent volunteering in environmental actions, contribution to greening and regeneration of the ecosystem and others.
Young volunteers and teachers from the Recycling Patrol are increasing their ambitions, this year, and aim for a massive mobilization of the population to “recycle” bad habits towards the environment. The participating teams try to make their schools as “eco-friendly” as possible, by changes that inspire the community. In addition, it encourages as many people as possible to tell what good habits they practice in their daily lives and promotes them on the communication channels of the platform.
“We want to be responsible people. We want clean communities. We want the school to create value for society as a whole. We want respect for the law, for nature and for ourselves. We want Romania to no longer be at the tail end of Europe, when we talk about environmental standards. We want to promote a healthy and ecological lifestyle. We want to do something we can be proud of! ” The Recycling Patrol Manifesto 2020