Pleasanton Students

From left: Tracie Onstad Bills, of SCS Engineers and the executive director for the California Resource Recovery Association; Jill Buck, CEO of Go Green Initiative; Bryan Luo, 21st Club president and UCLA student; Paulina Umansky, club secretary and UC-Berkeley student; Lauren Londoño, club communications officer and Cal Poly student and Judy Erlandson, city of Livermore and CRRA board member.

Leaders of Amador Valley High School's 2018-2019 21st Club won the Next Generation Recycler Award. They received the honor at the California Resource Recovery Association's annual conference in Rancho Mirage on Aug. 13.

“This award is specifically designed to promote the next generation of recyclers or zero-wasters in California,” Monica Devincenzi, the co-chairwoman for the conference, said. “It is awarded to an individual young person or youth group that sets themselves apart from their peers in promoting waste prevention, recycling, composting, zero waste or buying recycled.”

The Amador club was nominated by the Pleasanton Garbage Service.

Determined to help all 15 Pleasanton Unified School District schools enact its integrated waste management policy, club leaders accompanied staff from the Go Green Initiative to help with waste audits of lunch waste at every school from Jan. 5 to Feb. 13. During those six weeks, members helped students and staff at nine elementary, three middle and three high schools audit more than 2,300 pounds of trash, recycling and organic material. They worked closely with Pleasanton Garbage Service to ensure they could advise schools on what items were recyclable and compostable.

The club's Vice-President Bryan Luo, now a freshman at UCLA; Secretary Paulina Umansky, a freshman at UC Berkeley; and Communications Officer Lauren Londoño, freshman at Cal Poly accepted the award.

“We would like to thank our club advisor Jill Buck, who connected us with establishing multigenerational solidarity, an environment where adults and students are all connected, which was really crucial to the success of our project,” Luo said during his acceptance speech.

The students also thanked Pleasanton Garbage Service for nominating them for the award.