Today may officially be America Recycles Day. But every day is recycling day at Townsell Elementary School, and a recent recognition from the city of Irving is proof. 

Every year, the Irving ISD school that recycles the most paper is recognized by the city of Irving and Keep Irving Beautiful, an organization dedicated to educating the community about environmental issues in order to help make Irving a better place in which to live, work and play. 

“This year, I’m proud to announce that Townsell Elementary School has won,” says Jim Scrivner, executive director of facilities and school support services for Irving ISD and member of the Keep Irving Beautiful board. “During the 2020-2021 school year, teachers, students, and staff faced many challenges that were previously unimagined – from safely restarting classroom education while maintaining virtual instruction, to one of the worst winter storms in our state’s history, all with the ever-present and constantly changing environment of a worldwide pandemic. Making sure cardboard, paper, plastic, and other materials made it to the recycle bins instead of the landfill would have been an easy task to overlook, but not at Townsell Elementary.”

Students at Townsell collected an estimated 480 cubic yards of recyclable material, most of it in the form of paper products. This equates to 160 trees saved through recycling at this one school alone. 

“Trees add value to our lives in so many ways, including producing oxygen, removing carbon dioxide, reducing energy consumption, providing shelter and food for wildlife, and of course, by their natural beauty,” says Scrivner. “All of this results in Irving becoming a greener and healthier community.”

As part of the recognition, the school received a 100-gallon, 4-foot caliper Cedar Elm tree. The school’s student leadership team helped plant the tree in front of the school, facing Northgate Drive.

The school’s student leadership team; Townsell Principal Amber Brooks; Scrivner; Dr. Andre Smith, Chief of Administrative Services for the district; Mayor Rick Stopfer; and members of the Keep Irving Beautiful participated in a dedication ceremony last Friday.

“This tree will be there for you to come visit after you graduate to remind you of how valuable your efforts in recycling were, for the city and the environment,” says Scrivner. “Congratulations on your outstanding accomplishments.”