A group of eighth-graders who were once digging through trash is now speaking in front of the Chapel Hill Town Council.
The team from Phillips Middle School, who call themselves the Trash Terminators 2.0, want to spread the word about the benefits of composting on a local level.
When the group spoke to the council last week, they talked about the great success they had with their recycling plan and proposed a new idea for municipal composting.
“The mayor seemed really interested and he was very encouraging,” said team member Vincent Chen.
Last year, the Trash Terminators 1.0 won the national Siemens We Can Change the World Challenge with a classroom project.
They sorted through all of the trash their classmates threw away and focused on eliminating the amount of liquids in the trash and recycling.
Two of the three original members of the team moved on to high school, but team member Rohan Deshpande gathered a group of other classmates to keep the legacy alive.
Deshpande said recycling is an important first step to master before moving on to composting.
“With the Trash Terminators 1.0, we had to set a foundation and encourage people to stop before throwing everything in the trash,” he said. “You have to learn to recycle, then you can start diverting to other things. That’s what we are doing with the Trash Terminators 2.0.”