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Students hear from a robot and Hagerstown city officials about the importance of recycling

April 22, 2013|By CALEB CALHOUN | caleb.calhoun@herald-mail.com
  • Isaac Brown, 4, of Hagerstown, right, and his twin brother Ellis, 4, play with Cycler the recycle robot Monday in University Plaza. The robot was part of an Earth Day celebration that involved local officials, Barbara Ingram School for the Arts, and Pangborn Elementary School students.
Photo by Caleb Calhoun

Cycler the recycle robot met with students at Pangborn Elementary School on Monday in the University Plaza in downtown Hagerstown for the City of Hagerstown Earth Day Celebration that featured Mayor David S. Gysberts, Barbara Ingram School for the Arts students, and other local officials.

The robot, made out of recycled material, answered the students’ questions about recycling.

“How was recycling invented?” one student asked.

“How old is the earth?” asked another student.

“What did it look like before we recycled?”

The robot, operated manually by a person inside University System of Maryland at Hagerstown, answered each question directly and gave the students various facts about recycling.

“I learned that you can recycle cans so you can use them again,” said Pangborn fourth-grader Zann Butt, 10, of Hagerstown.

“It talked and moved, and that was really interesting and cool,” Pangborn fifth-grader Madison Guidish, 10, of Hagerstown, said of the robot. “It was helpful to know how much is recycled.”

Before the robot’s introduction, the program Monday featured comments from Gysberts, City Engineer Rodney Tissue, and Barbara Ingram Students Emily Thompson and Kamryn Grosh.

Gysberts, who read a proclamation from the city declaring the week of April 17-24, 2013, Earth Week and April 22, 2013, Earth Day, told the students it was up to them to protect the Earth in the future.

“We really only have one Earth, and we have to take care of it,” he said.

Tissue gave the students statistics on how much is recycled and thrown away each year.

“Each year in the city, all the residents throw away about 10,000 tons of trash,” he said. “Each year we recycle about 2,500 tons.”

Krista Hastings, 16, of Hagerstown, a sophomore at Barbara Ingram, sang and read a poem at the event.

“For me, it’s a good opportunity to get out singing in front of people, and I love nature and trying to save the Earth,” she said. “I think it’s good to get the younger generation knowing that it’s good to help trees and flowers, and the trash needs to be recycled.”

Cycler was introduced to the students by Tom Stang of Waste Management, who talked to them about the types of products that are reusable, including aluminum cans.

He said after the meeting that Cycler is used to promote Earth Day around the city, primarily in front of youngsters.

“The children are the folks that will recycle in the future, and with Earth Day becoming larger and larger the last 20 years, we just felt it was necessary to promote it,” he said. “What better way to do it on a level that kids would enjoy it and understand it?”

Pangborn Elementary School Assistant Principal Raegon Clutz said that recycling is something that the school stresses.

“It’s a message that our kids have heard before, and we felt it would be really good for the kids to come down here and hear that from the city as well,” he said.

Pangborn fifth-grader Ethan Ravotta, 10, of Hagerstown, said that the celebration helped him realize how much more can be recycled.

“Throughout the city of Hagerstown, there’s a lot of waste being dumped, and people should really start recycling,” he said.

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