JONES COUNTY, N.C. (WITN) - A group of students are taking an environmental challenge in hopes of making a difference in their community.
In the process, they could win thousands of dollars.
There is a group of 10 sixth grade students at Comfort Elementary School and they have entered the Lexus Eco Challenge.
The challenge has students across the country work on environmental issues that affect their community and come up with real solutions.
This group has decided to focus on recycling.
Through their research they found out that Jones County does not have a recycling program.
Their goal is to work with the sanitation department within the county to see how much starting one would cost and teach residents here about the importance of doing so.
"We're working on trying to create a recycling program in our school and we're trying to raise awareness in the community in Trenton and Jones County for recycling," says one of the students, Cheyanna Long.
They are also taking the challenge to their lunchroom where they hope to implement some changes.
Another student, Gregory Williams, says, "Right now Styrofoam trays and it takes them 500 years or more years to decompose and that's only for one tray and we're trying to resolve that."
The Recyclable Ten, which is what the group calls themselves, researched a lunch room tray that is decomposable.
They are now writing letters to the school's Board of Education to see if they can work sugarcane trays into their budget.
The students say if their project were to be selected as a winner, they would be excited, but after doing so much research, they say they care more about improving the environment in their community than winning.
The Lexus Eco Challenge picks 16 teams nationwide as winners and they receive $10,000 to be split up as scholarships for the participating students, their teacher, and money to go towards their project.