Protecting the Planet, One Pail at a Time

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Payton Lewis, a second grade student at Deauville Gardens West Elementary School, is doing his part to help save the environment and spark a green movement within his school district and community. 

What started as a recycling effort for Lewis has transitioned into educating his peers. Lewis has launched his first initiative in the Copiague School District: Payton’s Planet. The first two recycling pails are located in the faculty lounges at the Copiague Middle School and Deauville Gardens West Elementary School and encourage faculty and staff to recycle their bottles and cans. Payton, along with his mother Shakira, will pick up the bottles each Friday. The funds collected will be used to purchase additional pails, which they hope will become a staple throughout the school district. Payton wants to keep working to encourage others to save the planets, no matter how big or small their efforts may be. 

 Payton learned about the environment and the importance of recycling during Earth Day at school. He wanted to help make the earth a cleaner and safer place for his family and friends to enjoy for years to come. Payton took action by recycling bottles through a “pick up” service (Payton’s Pick Up) coordinated by his parents. As his momentum increased, he later expanded on recycling concepts by creating a receptacle placement service in partnership with local establishments, Payton’s Pail and a volunteer program with the assistance of his peers, Payton’s Pals. Payton formally introduced the multifaceted Payton’s Planet as a nonprofit organization during the 4th annual Ujamaa Fest Business Expo in May 2019.