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Nursing Students Give Back by Recycling

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Five CSU-Pueblo nursing students presented a proposal about the recycling efforts that they have participated in and also researched. The presentation was held on Dec. 6 in the Technology Building.Representatives from the Pueblo City County Health Department and Pueblo Recycling also attended to hear the students’ ideas.

The presentation was part of their “community project,” which is a requirement for all senior nursing students take part in.

The students taking part in this project included Maria Cardenas, Tiffany Cerecero, Jennifer Harper, Cristin McCraw, and Aaron Williams, all of which are currently registered nurses. These seniors in the nursing program are working towards attaining their bachelor’s degrees in nursing.

The students presented informative and important facts about recycling, as well as showed pictures of their efforts.

The first part of their project was planning and putting together the “Trash Fashion Show,” held in the OUC Ballroom last month.

The second part of this project involved the research of recycling, in order to show the health benefits that recycling can bring to the community.

After the presentation, Jo Scher, an epidemiologist from the Pueblo City County Health Department, awarded all five students with certificates of approval, and a gift of appreciation.

All five students took part in the recycling efforts and advised a plan to get other people, as well as their neighborhoods, involved.

The students said they want the children in these neighborhood areas were included, so their families would eventually follow and take part in these efforts.

“Involving children was very important,” said Aaron Williams, an RN in the Acute Psychological Ward at the State Hospital. “People need to realize the importance of recycling and how recycling will impact our future, our planet and our children.”

Overall, the plan was to help more people recycle by having one person, per every three city blocks, collect, sort, and transport the trash from their neighbors, to recycling facilities.
Along with collecting the trash, the students had to educate the people in these areas about the project, and make sure they had the proper consent to collect and pick up their trash.

In general, the students said they hoped the efforts would eventually impact the local government to re-implement recycling pick-up in Pueblo, since it no longer exists.

Cristin McCraw and Jennifer Harper were two of the students who collected and sorted trash from their neighborhoods and then took the loads to recycling facilities.

“I would hope by increasing awareness and the participation of recycling, Colorado would accept responsibility for it and enforce a recycling law,” said McCraw, an RN in the Neurological-ICU unit at Parkview Medical Center.

McCraw previously lived in California and said she was not accustomed to the poor recycling efforts here. Recycling is a law in the state of California.

In keeping these recycling efforts going, there are several benefits to waste management facilities in terms of local businesses.

“Through everything learned in the experience of recycling and involving the community, businesses should give some type of compensation for all the help that recycling gives,” said Harper, an RN in the ICU unit at St.Mary Corwin Hospital. “Less trash equals less money (for the businesses to pay out).”

All five students said they worked extremely hard, in order to raise awareness of recycling and its benefits, as well as make this project successful.

“The experience was hard at times, and it was hard to keep focused on the goal of the project,” said Tiffany Cerecero, an RN on the Labor and Delivery floor at St.Mary Corwin. “These types of goals are eventually achieved by community awareness.”