Vinland magic show pulls recycling out of the hat

POULSBO — Abracadabra. While few people utter the phrase while separating glass, plastic and cardboard from their garbage, many no doubt would find the “Magic of Recycling” quite a trick indeed.

Steffan Soule appeared Tuesday at Vinland Elementary School, wowing students and staff alike with a message that all too often ends up in the dump.

“The main thing I want students to learn from this is the value of recycling,” said Soule, who has more than 500 shows under his belt. “We all need to take care of the environment. When you take care of the environment it can be enchanting and wonderful.”

The assembly, sponsored by Kitsap County Solid Waste Utility, thrilled Vinland principal Charley McCabe and the entire student body alike.

“It’s a great way to start out the school year. This is the first year we’ve ever had a particular assembly like this one,” he said prior to the event. “This assembly promotes recycling here at school and at home. Today students will learn about the benefits of recycling and how to recycle themselves. It’s such an easy thing to do.”

The aim, McCabe said, is every student will develop an affinity for taking care of the environment.

“There’s a chance for children to build some strong recycling habits at a young age,” he said. “We hope recycling becomes second nature to them as they grow up.”

Vinland first grade teacher Susan Weaver said it’s imperative elementary students know the benefits of recycling, reusing and reducing.

“I think recycling should become a life-long activity for these students,” she said. “If we teach them about it now at a young age, they will continue to do it as they get older and it will become a habit.”

During the assembly, Soule showcased various types of optical illusions showing the positive effects of recycling and conserving the environment can be. He also made one of the student’s dollars disappear, when he pulled something out of his bag of tricks.

“When you don’t recycle or reuse you begin to see your money disappear,” he announced to the crowd.

After seeing a student perform a recycling act, he returned the dollar bill to its rightful owner.

Soule informed students via props and skits of many items they can recycle that they might not have thought of.

“Egg cartons, paper towels, paper bags, newspapers, plastic bottles, milk bottles, glass and aluminum cans (are recyclable items),” he said. “Did you know that one aluminum can make a 100-watt light bulb work for 20 hours?.”

Soule also told students how important it is to recycle glass.

“Glass takes 500 years to disintegrate,” he said. “When you recycle a glass bottle, eventually it will come back as another bottle, eventually.”

“Two-thousand pounds of recycled paper can save 17 trees,” he said. “When you recycle paper, you’re saving the lives of trees.”

Soule’s production saw recyclable items appear, reappear and disappear again throughout the festivities.

Fifth grader Magnus Cain said he thoroughly enjoyed the show.

“The one I liked the most is where he made a person float in the air. It’s the second time I’ve seen that happen before,” he said. “I recycle as much as I can. At my old house we recycled all the time. We just moved here and I will still recycle at the new house.”

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