Bringing recycling to a classroom near you

Bringing Recycling to a classroom near you

A sample of vermicomposting in action.

A sample of vermicomposting in action.


Kumari Durick

Most businesses have adopted a recycling program to one degree or another, but at Kelly’s Carpet Omaha, we are proud of our commitment to saving our environment.

Several years ago, we took a serious look at our footprint on the earth and decided we wanted to do everything we could to reduce the negative impact on our environment. We adopted an intense recycling program that includes recycling every single piece of material that can possibly be recycled.

Every piece of paper – from post-it notes to cardboard boxes – is recycled. Wood pallets are shredded and repurposed as horse bedding. Used carpeting is recycled into plastic pellets which are used by car manufacturers, and we are proud to be the industry leader of carpet recycling in the area.

But recycling of materials is just part of our commitment to being responsible business owners. We wanted to do more than just recycle materials. We developed a program to teach school children the importance of recycling, and to show how they can make a difference when to comes to saving our earth. We were fortunate to find Kumari Durick, our Environmental Educator to spearhead this effort.

The program is called The Four R’s – Reduce, Reuse, Recycle & Rot. Kumari, a former classroom teacher, has been teaching this program for Kelly’s Carpet Omaha in area schools for eight years now and reaches more than 7500 students every year.

Kumari tailors the presentation to the age of the students, and often correlates the material to their curriculum. The message is simple – recycling at home can make a difference! “The kids are so enthusiastic, and they are often taking the lead at home by encouraging their parents to start recycling,” says Kumari. “I love when I present to kids for a second or third time and they remember specific things I taught them before.”

The presentation is visual – Kumari brings with her a worm bin to illustrate the benefits of composting. Fruit in a compost can take 3-4 weeks to decompose, as opposed to paper that takes a month, cotton up to 5 months, aluminum cans 500 years, or styrofoam and glass which essentially never decompose!

Kumari teaches the kids what materials can be recycled, and the importance of turning water off instead of letting it run. She explains Kellys Carpet Omaha’s commitment to recycling, and the process of turning used carpeting into car parts. She encourages kids to consider how items can be reused for different purposes. “My goal is to teach each student one thing they didn’t know before. If we all adopt one new habit, we can make a difference.”

You can read more about the program, or to schedule Kumari to speak to your classroom, on our website. Learn more about our commitment to recycling here. Kelly’s Carpet Omaha is proud of our commitment to reducing, reusing and recycling!