The story of the student-run Purdy Recycling Center at Purdy High School is the focus of the new book, "Bringing It Back Around."
The book provides a step-by-step guide for schools and communities who want to launch their own recycling center and focuses on how students at Purdy created a thriving, profitable recycling business to fund scholarships and club activities.
The 63-page full-color book was written by Purdy High School world languages instructor Gerry Wass, who also serves as adult coordinator for the Purdy Recycling Project.
"We wanted to share the story and inspire other schools and communities to develop similar recycling projects across the country," said Wass. "In just under four years these students have made this into a profitable endeavor raising more than $6,000 while satisfying a community need."
According to Wass, a limited number of free copies of the book will be available to the first individuals contacting him through the website.
Clean BurnŽ, a corporate sponsor of the book project, has a Clean Burn furnace in the Purdy Recycling Center. The furnace recycles used motor oil to generate heat for the stand-alone facility.
"Once you have a source of used oil, the most environmentally sound way of disposing of it is to burn it to heat a building in the winter," says Wass. "The Clean Burn furnace hangs from the ceiling, out of the way of other recycling efforts, and has allowed us to collect used oil filters from industrial clients like auto dealerships and auto repair garages.
Once crushed, a 55-gallon container of used filters generates between eight and 10 gallons of used motor oil, which added to other used motor oils that the center collects from the district's bus fleet and other sources.
"The Clean Burn furnace transforms the used motor oil into free heat for our facility," said Wass.
Traditionally used in locations that generate large amounts of used motor oil, such as tractor trailer and heavy equipment facilities, this is one of the first times a Clean Burn unit has been used in a "home-grown" recycling center project.
"Bringing It Back Around" is available for $30 including postage, and can be ordered through the club's website at spanish.purdy.k12.mo.us.