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Recycling School


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There were glaring omissions in your "Redemption Value" article (June 17). The value of nonprofits goes far beyond the "nostalgia" and "romanticism" of local "hippies." An important part of the recycling movement had, and still has, to do with education. For 40 years, the Arcata Community Recycling Center has taught us how to recycle. There was no coverage of ACRC's education programs and facilities in your article.

The Journal neglected to cover an important educational event that took place a week before your story was published. On June 8, World Oceans Day, 300 Arcata Elementary students assembled an enormous art installation using 6,000 plastic bottles and hundreds of painted cardboard marine animals. As the entire student body assembled around their collective efforts -- two months of field trips, beach clean-ups, classroom activities, and a massive plastic bottle collection drive -- they raised their voices together and took a pledge to "keep the sea litter-free." It was a powerful moment that will stay with the children as they make future choices about this planet. Without ACRC, this important event would not have occurred.

Because ACRC is a nonprofit, the project could be funded by a grant from the California Coastal Commission. If ACRC disappears, and profit-driven businessmen prevail, there will be no opportunity for important education projects like this one. There is a value to the history of the recycling movement in Arcata that goes beyond profit. Education cannot be measured by the mighty dollar.

Maureen McGarry, Arcata


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