Art Honor Society adds color to community recycling bins

Sally Kuan, Contributing Writer

This fall Port Washington’s train station is  getting an update, courtesy of the Art Honor Society, a group of student artists who focus on projects and workshops that provide services for the school as well as the community.

One of the scheduled projects for this school year involves decorating a recycling bin to be placed within the town.

“I think it’s really great to incorporate art in the rest of our community, and that’s what our club strives to do,” said club officer senior Carrie Rybecky.  “It’s going to beautify our community.”

This plan was organized by the Town of North Hempstead Chief Sustainability Officer and Solid Waste Management Authority, Frances Reid.  For the past several years, she has been managing a wide range of events, programs, and activities for local school districts in the North Hempstead area that incorporate recycling and other environmentally conscious practices.

Earlier this year, Reid reached out to schools in Nassau County and offered the opportunity for students to decorate and paint recycling bins that would then be placed in prominent locations in their communities.  The recycling bin that the Art Honor Society will decorate will be put near the LIRR station.

“I think a lot of people will see it, and it will get a lot of good attention and use,” said art teacher Ms. Miranda Best.

The aim of this project is to encourage recycling in Port Washington, and to raise awareness of the benefits of recycling to the neighborhood and environment.

Because it is located in an area that receives a lot of foot traffic by commuters, the bin could be used for the disposal of bottles, cups and other recyclable materials.

“It’s really nice to be able to just touch the community and outside of our community with art,” said Rybecky.

The Art Honor Society is currently in the midst of planning the design and decoration process of the recycling bin.  The club officers for the 2013-2014 school year were recently elected, and two of the six, sophomore Shannon Rybecky and junior Ana Espinoza, will be leading the entire group in the decision about how the painting will proceed. Some current ideas revolve around the harbor, featuring creatures and plants that are indigenous to the Sound.

“It’s for the whole idea of raising awareness of how recycling can cut down on some of the pollution and garbage that ends up making its way into the Long Island Sound,” said Ms. Best.

The media that will be used to create the design will be a special type of paint that is capable of withstanding the elements.  The students in the Art Honor Society will paint directly on the recycling bin with it, covering all four sides of the container.  When the painting process is complete, the recycling bin will be installed near the train station.

“I’m looking forward to it; it’s exciting to have an opportunity to do something that will be viewed not only by the school but by the larger community as well,” said Ms. Best.  “We have a lot of great, excited, dedicated, talented art students, and I’m sure they will come up with a great plan and I’m looking forward to working with everyone on it.”