Panther Valley Middle School students have received national recognition for their recycling efforts.

Students at Panther Valley Middle School recycled 17.6 pounds of waste per student, which gained them the first place award in the Nestlé-sponsored Recycle Bowl.

The amount recycled is more than three times the amount of recyclables per student than the average result posted during the Recycle-Bowl competition.

PVMS finished above some 878 other competitors.

PVMS students were recognized at a special awards ceremony at the school on April 18, with the school receiving a check for $1,000.

The school is the grand recycling champion, while the school collected the most material of the Nestlé Water North America (NWNA) employee supported schools that participated in the competition.

Peter Rittenhouse, supply chain director of Nestlé, said."The increase in the number of schools using Recycle Bowl as a way to start a school rcycling program demonstrates its value. We congratulate P.V. for rising to the challenge after two of our local employees brought this great competition to their attention."

"Today's youth needs to know that the good choices and practices they make today will have a lasting impact; through recycling they are becoming good stewards of our environment and their future", said Chrisanne Powell, eighth grade science teacher and Recycling Club coordinator at the school. "I would like to thank Nestlé Waters and the Keep America Beautiful organization for offering the school the opportunity to encourage and acknowledge the positive efforts of our students by giving them this avenue to lead by example."

She was assisted as coordinator by teacher Shannon McBride.

According to eighth grader Brendan Morgans, who has been a member of the club since its inception, "As students, we worked very hard with the recycling program here at the school. It made us more conscientious about the importance of protecting the environment. Carbon County should do everything to reinstate the recycling program. It is vital to our environment's future."

Carbon County Commissioner Wayne Nothstein said, "I challenge you to make recyclable materials more saleable and reuse material and not become a throw-away society."

Commissioner Tom Gerhard added, "Panther Valley is smaller than other schools competing and earned this distinction."

After the presentations, recycling games were played. Students of the club competed in a recycling relay and jeopardy. Teacher Kim Laird provided juggling skits that were themed with recycling.

Nestlé Waters North America has 35 years of experience promoting healthful hydration in the bottled water segment.