Eagle project brings new recycling container to Sheffield

Photo submitted to Times Observer Brady O’Donnell of Troop #35 of Sheffield works on his Eagle project.

COVID changed a lot of things, even the way people recycle.

Brady O’Donnell wanted to help his community with that change.

In Sheffield, the recycling options are limited.

During COVID, the Elk Street shed available to take aluminum cans — the only option, was seeing higher use than it had in the past. O’Donnell knew it. Scout Troop 35, of which he is a member, empties the bins and takes the cans to the recycling center.

Seeing the cans piling up set O’Donnell’s mind in motion.

Photo provided to the Times Observer Jim Tellman is one of several Odd Fellows that are helping Scouts get their Pinewood Derby cars ready to roll. “This Saturday is the big Council race where all the Pack winners will compete in each rank, Lion, Tiger, Wolf, Bear and Webelos,” Dussia said.

“That’s what prompted me to start the project,” O’Donnell, a senior at Sheffield Area High School, said. “The old can shed would be overflowing in less than two weeks once COVID had people staying indoors so much more.”

“It was overflowing constantly. Bags of cans were piled on top,” he said. “Sheffield needed a more efficient recycling system for aluminum cans.”

Suddenly, he had an idea for his Eagle project.

“The solution was simple: we needed more space for our recycled cans,” he said. “The execution was more complex. It took much more planning and gathering than actual construction.”

From start to finish, including planning, design, and construction, the project took more than 100 hours.

O’Donnell was not working alone.

“With all the people it’s no surprise that we invested so much time,” he said.

The project was completed on June 29 and there was no need to interrupt recycling in the community during the work.

“The old can shed was still going as it had been,” O’Donnell said.

And it still is.

Those looking to recycle can now visit the site of the former recycling center and put their recyclable cans in either bin.

There is only space for one Scout to work at the old bin at a time, but O’Donnell’s has two access points, allowing the work to go twice as quickly.

More than three Scouts generally handle the recycling-related tasks. Some empty the bins. Others collect the items that cannot be recycled, change out the bags, gather items that fall out of the bins, and haul the full and sealed bags of cans.

Their work is rewarded. The dollars generated from recycling the cans returns to the troop.

“The money goes back into the individual scouts who help out and is put towards summer camp and other scouting activities,” O’Donnell said.

As a result of the project, O’Donnell’s community has a much-improved recycling facility and he has earned the rank of Eagle.

“It means a lot in terms of leadership and determination,” he said..“It took years of working to reach this goal, but, like I said at my Eagle ceremony, I didn’t and couldn’t do it alone. It may be my rank and my idea for a project, but once you get into the much more difficult requirements for Eagle, most of them take some teamwork to accomplish.”


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