EGG HARBOR CITY — The Community School came in first in the state’s 2013 Recycling Bowl, in the first year of a serious recycling program at the fourth- through eighth-grade facility.

The city’s Charles L. Spragg School came in third in the state.

“It was a four-week competition, and we collected 12,751 pounds of recyclables,” said Lisa Jiampetti, the 21st Century Community Learning coordinator at the Community School who led the effort and is the city’s mayor. The contest ran from Oct. 15 to Nov. 15. Winners were announced recently.

“It came out to 48.67 pounds per capita,” she said, for the school’s 235 students and 27 full-time teachers. The recycling program is continuing, she said.

Community School students, including Jamiere Spell, 13, in Shawn Sullivan’s fourth- through eighth-grade life skills class, take responsibility for making sure waste from the school’s breakfast program is properly handled.

Spell said their job is to make sure recyclables get into the right containers. They move containers to the exit doors.

The school won $1,000, said Katie Sementa, program director for the before- and after-school program, 21st Century Learning, who helped with the effort. The money may be used to build a fence around outdoor trash and recycling receptacles, Sementa said.

Principal Jack Griffith said the Atlantic County Utilities Authority, which has encouraged area schools to enter the Recycle Bowl, is giving the school new cafeteria milk-carton recycle bins for the win. The ACUA began accepting cardboard milk containers for recycling in January.

Schools, in general, don’t recycle as much as they could, Jiampetti said.

“There’s an issue with getting full cooperation to do it,” she said. “You have to have the ground crew and janitors on board. We have that here.”

Daytime custodian Jennifer Whisner took a personal interest. She said she did her share of “Dumpster diving” to retrieve recyclables from the trash stream. She counted the number of large, wheeled ACUA recycling receptacles that were picked up and logged the information in reports, with weights based on averages for the containers.

There were 26 New Jersey schools in the competition, sponsored by Nestle’s Keep America Beautiful campaign, Jiampetti said.

Other staff who helped with the project were administrative assistant Betty Anne Morgenweck, who said she checked classroom bins and moved recyclables out of trash cans as one of the “recycling police,” and head of buildings and grounds Scott Wheeler.

For the list of state winners visit recycle-bowl.org/2013champions on the Internet.

Contact Michelle Brunetti Post:

609-272-7219

More than 30 years’ experience reporting and editing for newspapers and magazines in Illinois, Colorado, Texas and New Jersey and 1985 winner of the Texas Daily Newspaper Association’s John Murphy Award for copy editing.