WESTFIELD, NJ — Members of the Westfield High School Global Environmentalists’ Club finished the school year last week with the school’s first-ever battery recycling pickup — 67 pounds of used batteries that they had been collecting in a bin since December under the mentorship of club adviser Jane D'Alessandro.

“After making informative announcements and putting up flyers around school, I was ecstatic to see so much support for the program among students and staff,” club president Linzy Rosen said.

"Seeing all of the batteries collected was so surreal,” Hannah Brogan, club secretary, said. “It was amazing to see how many people were able to help the environment through this collection box that we had created.”

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The effort was funded completely by the club.

Sarah Ward, a member of the club’s fundraising committee, noted, “The battery recycling program is really important because it raises awareness about an important issue and helps the environment at the same time.”

The club raised enough money to spread the battery recycling program to some of Westfield's elementary schools next year, according to Rosen.

“We are really proud of our efforts,” she said. “This is the first recycling program of any sort started by students and the first of its kind in Westfield schools.”

The students worked with National Bulb Recycling Co., based in Avon, NJ. After the weighing and pickup June 21, the company awarded Rosen with their Outstanding Environmental Excellence Award for leading the project and for ensuring proper recycling practices. 

“They were incredibly supportive and even donated their services to us,” Rosen said.

Next year, the program will expand to Tamaques, Franklin and McKinley elementary schools, Rosen said.

“I am very proud that our club took initiative and brought a much-needed program to the high school,” Humaira Khan, the club’s vice president, said. “The involvement and support we received from the community was truly amazing, and I hope this program continues to be a success with the involvement of some of the elementary schools for next year.”

“The fact that such unity could be achieved to mitigate an environmental issue was incredible and gave me hope that more people care about the environment than I previously thought,” Rosen said. “Seeing the success of the program has made me so grateful for starting the club. We’re called the Global Environmentalists, but changes in our community affect the world at large. We hope we made that message clear and invoked inspiration in students. With enough dedication and persistence, each of us has the power to be a change-maker. I was so proud to accept this award and am thankful for my passionate club members and school community's contributions.”