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East Norriton students hold cleanup event for environment

Earth Day project turns into grade-wide cleanup initiative for East Norriton 8th graders
Earth Day project turns into grade-wide cleanup initiative for East Norriton 8th graders 02:20

EAST NORRITON, Pa. (CBS) -- A group of eighth graders want to finish out the school year leaving their school in better condition than they found it. So for three hours on a sunny day, East Norriton Middle School students held a massive cleanup event. 

The event began as an Earth Day project and grew into a larger initiative. Students filled up more than 20 bags of trash at the event.

"Who put it here? Why would they do that," said Navah, one of the students involved in the cleanup. "We found a lot of plastic which is really bad for the environment, but we also found cans and glass bottles and plastic bags. A lot of paper as well." 

Navah was one of nearly 60 students that made their way around the campus to collect litter.

"My motive for doing this today is to help the environment and build up our school community and raise awareness to picking up trash," Navah explained. "I was extremely proud of everybody. I was really happy we were able to get this all done."

This cleanup effort is part of the Riverbend Environmental Education Center that introduces students to outdoor stem education and shows them how to take action to conserve the Earth's resources.

Executive Director Erin Reilly is excited to see the youth eager to join cleanup initiatives.

"Every time someone litters, that trash is making its way through our waterways and eventually to the water treatment plants where the water companies are working hard to protect our drinking water," Reilly said.

Although these eighth graders will soon go on to high school, they hope their actions have inspired others to help protect our environment.

"Hopefully more people like us would be more inspired and clean up," said Navah.

"It's all going to have an impact on the world. Whether you like it or not, and it's going to harm your family, the air we breathe," Marley, another eighth grader involved, said.

Riverbend says 11 Philadelphia schools are signed up to cleanups and other earth action projects for next school year. 

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