Grove Lower Elementary science classes have started a school-wide green initiative.

GLE Science Teacher Terry Cash said students are participating in several recycling programs as part of their science curriculum, and the recyclables are pouring in.

“We are learning the three R’s for saving the planet,” Cash noted. “Reduce, reuse, and recycle.”

Students are turning in pop cans, pop tabs, Capri Sun packages, Nestle’s Water Labels, and plastic bags.

The pop tabs are part of the Character Counts! program and will benefit the Ronald McDonald House.

Capri Sun packages and water labels help benefit the school. The Capri Sun packages can be sent back tothe manufacturer, which pays two cents per package to the school. Nestle Water labels may be traded for physical education equipment.

Even collecting recyclables that do not raise funds for worthy causes still benefits the community and the environment.

“We learned that every pop can that goes into the landfill will still be there 500 years from now,” Cash explained. “And the energy it takes to make one new can is enough to run a TV for three hours.”

She noted that every pop can that is recycled has been melted down and made into a new pop can within 42 days.

She said she will be taking the massive number of plastic bags the students have collected to Wal-Mart so they can be recycled. From the looks of things, she will need a large truck to haul them.

“Plastic bags make a lot of litter and they can hurt animals,” Cash tells students. “They will still be in a landfill 200 years from now.”