It was mid-autumn when we had the pleasure of meeting one of Halton’s 3Rs Community Champions, Eliot Zelem. It didn’t take long before he had both amazed and inspired us with his enthusiasm and knowledge of the 3Rs — Reduce, Reuse, Recycle.
Besides sporting a bright green “I Recycle” t-shirt and showing us his very own toy garbage truck, this is why we found Eliot to be so amazing:
At home, Eliot is aware of how composting works. “My parents put our pumpkin in our backyard composter,” he said. The backyard composter gets flipped every so often “to add air into the compost pile,” he continued. At school, Eliot participates in their Blue Box and GreenCart program, but also enjoys gym class as well!
Every Tuesday morning on waste collection day, Eliot runs to the second floor window of his house to watch the waste collectors do their job. He thinks “they’re very fast.”
Before we had even stepped through the door of Eliot’s home, he was already holding the Waste Management Collection Calendar in his hands. He was excited to show us how he uses it. As he flipped through his calendar, we could see that it was covered with his pen scribbles marking off each of the previous waste collections throughout the year.
Eliot makes sure his family never misses their waste collection day. Not only does he use his calendar to determine when to place out materials, he also knows what goes where. Every week his family will put out two Blue Boxes and their GreenCart. “In the Blue Box we put paper and juice boxes, “Eliot said, “the GreenCart gets “our banana peels, apple cores, paper towels and Kleenex.”
“I don’t want to pollute the environment,” said Eliot. He sees the big picture and practices the 3Rs because he understands that what he does has an impact.
Perhaps the most surprising fact about Eliot is that he is only five years old.
After speaking with him about waste and recycling, we feel reassured about the future of waste diversion in our community. He already knows he wants to be a “garbage man” when he grows up! Perhaps we have a future Halton Region employee in our midst!
Thank you Eliot for inspiring us with all that you do to protect the environment and for your passion about reducing, reusing and recycling. You are an awesome 3Rs Community Champion!