Take Action Today Awards


Each year, the S.C. Department of Health and Environmental Control's (DHEC) Office of Solid Waste Reduction and Recycling (Office) recognizes South Carolina schools and educators for their outstanding waste reduction and recycling efforts through the Take Action Today Awards Program.

The following award recipients were recognized for their outstanding recycling projects and initiatives for the 2015-2016 school year during DHEC’s annual Take Action Today Environmental Education Workshop in June.


Outstanding School Recycling Program

The Outstanding Recycling School of the Year is Seaside Elementary School in Horry County. Darcy Jones led the school, which begins each day with “Green Works” announcements reminding students to recycle, and in securing grants from Horry County Solid Waste Authority and DHEC to purchase large roll carts, recycle bins and scales.


Outstanding School Composting Program

Ocean Bay Middle School of Horry County is the state’s Outstanding Composting School of the Year. Cindy Lilly (far right) led the school’s composting program to collect 39 tons of organic waste. Finished compost is used in the herb and vegetable gardens on campus. The herbs and vegetables were sold during the school’s annual Earth Day community fundraiser.


Seaside Elementary School received the award for Outstanding School Recycling Program. Darcy Jones accepted their award and custom Recycle Guys poster at the Take Action Today Environmental Education Workshop in June.

Ocean Bay Middle School received the award for Outstanding Composting School Program. Pictured is Cindy Lilly accepting their award and custom poster.

Recycling Teachers of the Year

DHEC has named Melany Nussbaumer of North Myrtle Beach Middle School in Horry County and Brooke Scott of Deerfield Elementary School in Lexington County our state’s Recycling Teachers of the Year.

Nussbaumer improved the school’s recycling program by securing four grants and adding recycling bins and scales. The school also participated in the first “GoGo Fest” to promote recycling and had student volunteers participate in five clean-up events collecting trash along beaches, boat landings and waterways.

Scott created “Planet Heroes,” which features one student per classroom who promotes recycling and also acts as host of the “Recycled Art Gala” where students create artwork from recycled items.


Pictured is Melany Nussbaumer, Recycling Teacher of the Year for 2015, accepting her award and a personalized poster.

Brooke Scott of Deerfield Elementary School also was recognized recently as the Recycling Teacher of the Year for 2015.

Rising Stars and Spotlight Schools

Vikki Pasco of Catawba Trail Elementary School in Richland County and Jeanne McKinney with Meadow Glen Elementary School of Lexington County received the Rising Star Awards.

DHEC also congratulates its Rising Star Schools as Lake Carolina Elementary Lower Campus in Richland County, led by Susan Woodley; Oakview Elementary School in Greenville County, led by Charnley DeMeritt; and Lower Richland High School in Richland County, led by Aaron Buller. 

Schools recognized as a “Spotlight School” included Orchard Park Elementary in York County, Northwestern High School in York County and Myrtle Beach High School in Horry County.




Join us on facebook Follow us on twitter Get the RSS feed Email Us

Recycling 1-800-768-7348 — Litter Busters 1-800-754-8837

Contact Webmaster