Photos sent to the Times Observer Brady O’Donnell of Sheffield Troop #35 with their completed Eagle project: a new drop-off receptacle for aluminum cans on Elk St.

Brady O’Donnell wanted to help his community with that change.

In Sheffield, recycling options are limited.

During COVID, the Elk Street shed was available to take aluminum cans; the only option was to see greater use than in the past. O’Donnell knew it. Scout Troop 35, of which he is a member, empties the bins and takes the cans to the recycling center.

Seeing the stacked cans set O’Donnell’s mind in gear.

Photo sent to the Times Observer Brady O’Donnell of Troop #35 from Sheffield works on his Eagle project.

“That was what prompted me to start the project”, O’Donnell, a senior at Sheffield Area High School. “The old can shed would overflow in less than two weeks once COVID caused people to stay home much longer.”

“It was constantly overflowing. Bags of cans were stacked on top.” he said. “Sheffield needed a more efficient recycling system for aluminum cans.”

Suddenly, he had an idea for his Eagle project.

“The solution was simple: we needed more space for our recycled cans”, he said. “The execution was more complex. It took a lot more planning and gathering than the actual build.”

From start to finish, including planning, design and construction, the project took over 100 hours.

O’Donnell was not working alone.

“With all the people, it is not surprising that we have invested so much time”, he said.

The project was completed on June 29, and there was no need to interrupt recycling in the community during the job.

“The old can shed was still working as before,” O’Donnell said.

And still is.

Those looking to recycle can now visit the site of the old recycling center and put their recyclable cans in any of the bins.

There’s only room for one Scout to work on the old container at a time, but O’Donnell’s has two access points, allowing the job to get done twice as fast.

More than three Scouts usually handle recycling related tasks. Some empty the bins. Others pick up items that cannot be recycled, change bags, pick up items that fall out of bins, and haul bags of filled and sealed cans.

Your work is rewarded. The dollars generated by recycling the cans go back to the troop.

“The money goes back to the individual scouts who help and goes toward summer camp and other scouting activities,” O’Donnell said.

As a result of the project, the O’Donnell community has a greatly improved recycling facility and has earned the rank of Eagle.

“It means a lot in terms of leadership and determination,” he said..“It took me years of work to reach this goal, but, as I said at my Eagle ceremony, I did not and could not do it alone. It may be my range and my idea for a project, but once you get into the much more difficult requirements for Eagle, most of them require a bit of teamwork to achieve.”

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