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Water Refilling Stations Reducing Plastic Bottle Waste in Local High Schools

LEXINGTON, Ky. - Fayette high school students are keeping thousands of plastic bottles out of local landfills through an upgrade to their school water fountains.

Instead of grabbing a packaged bottle of water, students at Lafayette High School are using a new refilling station to pour cold tap water into a reusable container. The system is one of several water stations recently installed at all Fayette County public high schools, Sayre, and Lexington Catholic.

“You just put your water bottle in there and it has a sensor and it starts filling. And you take it out and it’s full, but it is integrated as part of the water fountain,” says 16-year-old Marie Armbruster, a Lafayette student and member of the Bluegrass Youth Sustainability Council.

The sustainability council spearheaded the project with Kentucky American Water, which  donated more than $6,000 for the stations.

“Students have five minutes to get between classes, and it has a sensor so it’s a lot easier if you can just put [the bottle] under there, let it fill for a few seconds, and then go on to class,” says Armbruster    

Each refilling station keeps track of how much water is dispensed. The sustainability council says in just one week more than 3,600 bottles were refilled, preventing a lot of non-biodegradable plastic from ending up in the trash.

Lexington native Brenna Angel anchored local morning newscasts for WUKY through May 13. She joined the station in March 2010 after previously working for WHAS-AM in Louisville.