Filling Our Way to Change: Revolutionizing Environmental Technology


Stallmeyer ceremoniously cuts the ribbon to the new refillable water bottle station.

Aisha Bhoori and Elias Kotsis

On May 10th, the ribbon was cut from the new refillable water bottle station located in the Commons. The ceremony inconspicuously took place during Block 6A, attended only by the Environmental Club and other dignitaries. Some guests included Superintendent Dr. George, Principal Rinella, New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection representative Sondra Flite, PFA representative Dawn Diorio, and advisor of the Environmental Club, Ms. Matri.

The ceremony commenced with opening remarks made by Mr. Rinella, congratulating the members of the Environmental Club, especially President William Stallmeyer for his trail-blazing efforts to initiate the project. This ingenious effort was sparked by his epiphany on a recent vacation, “While I was hiking in Yosemite National Park with my family I saw a refillable water bottle station at one of the rest stops and I thought ‘This needs to be implemented at South.’”

When Dr. George addressed the crowd before Stallmeyer, he focused on how this one seemingly small step could easily begin an environmental awareness revolution. When we spoke to Dr. George after the ceremony, we asked him to expand on this comment. He explained further that he was going to take a picture of the newly-installed machine and show it to the Supervisor for District Facilities, John Parsells, in hopes of getting these stations at other schools in the Middletown district.

This project, that will hopefully be the stepping stone to many others like it, would not have been possible without the support of the Superintendent, South’s administration, the PFA, and Joanne Artale. The PFA gifted Stallmeyer and the Environmental Club a grant for their plan. “We were happy to support the Environmental Club,” said Dawn Diorio. Artale gave a discount on the new station, provided by Ferguson’s, the plumbing company that produces refillable water bottle stations. The Environmental Club helped pay for the rest of the plan by fundraising through such means as the often-sighted “Midd South” t-shirts around the school.

This venture was one of determination and great effort that will help our school become more environmentally aware and less wasteful. Without Stallmeyer’s effort and the overwhelming support he received, the convenient and conservative water bottle station would not sit in the Commons.