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Reduce, Reuse, Recycle Hero of the Month

RRR Hero Sheila Scanlan

When educator Sheila Scanlan was hired by Highland High school in 2002, she was astonished to see students maneuvering large recycle containers on wheels from classroom to classroom collecting recyclables.  With more than 20 years of teaching experience, which includes teaching AP Environmental Science courses at Chandler Gilbert Community College, Ms. Scanlan immediately set about to improve this process.

Ms. Scanlan (second from left) assembled a student volunteer team. Pictured above are some of her volunteers: Ethan Evanko, Lauren Owens, Byron Alarcon-Benedetto, Jordon Hammond, and John Underwood.   Ms. Scanlan’s contagious energy and ability to motivate others to join in her green passion was evident as she proudly showed off the drop off sites located on campus for the collection of batteries, cell phones and CFL light bulbs.  The containers to collect all of these specialty recyclables were donated by Tempe Schools Credit Union. Additionally, she and her team ensure that the 26 recycle containers strategically placed throughout the campus are brought curbside each week for pick up.  After pick up, special education students, coordinated by Special Ed. teacher Victoria Stallings, return the empty containers to their locations for another week of recycling.  Last Spring, Ms. Scanlan and her student volunteers, partnered with ASU to recycle old computers and donate them to those in need.

Ms. Scanlan was quick to point out that Highland High School’s recycling program has developed over time and attributes its success to community involvement and buy-in from students and staff.  With the implementation of Ms. Scanlan’s creative recycling program, Highland High School has been recognized over the years for a number of accomplishments which include, but are not limited to, winning $2,500 from SRP for the development and implementation of a successful CFL recycling program and two 1st place winnings in a row in the Phoenix Zoo’s Earth Day competition for designing and painting environmentally-themed recycling barrels.

Ms. Scanlan is not only a role model for her students but an inspiration to her colleagues. Her enthusiasm for improving the environment seems without limit, and for these reasons, Gilbert recognizes Ms. Scanlan and her Highland High School student volunteers as our Reduce, Reuse and Recycle Heroes for the month of March!

Do you know someone who could be Gilbert’s next Reduce, Reuse and Recyle Hero of the month? Send your nominations to recycle@gilbertaz.gov.


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