First-year welding students from the Georgetown campus of Holland College have been spending a lot of their time getting some hands-on practice in the welding shop lately.

The students have been making three wrought iron recycling bins, one piece of steel at a time.

The unique opportunity was made possible thanks to a $5,000 grant from Canada's 150th Anniversary project funding.

"The recycling bins are quite expensive," explained project coordinator Marlene Bryenton. "We could never afford to buy these already manufactured. I went to Holland College to see if they would be interested in such a project for their students."

Holland College bin project 2

Josh Smith and Justin Gallant work to assemble one of the three wrought iron recycling bins for Joe Ghiz Memorial Park. (Tom Steepe)

'It's really cool'

The bins contain three large garbage cans which city workers can slide out the back. This will alleviate the need for workers to lift the heavy cans to dump them. 

Students like Josh Smith have spent the past few weeks putting the bins together. He said the experience has been invaluable. 

"When you start a project, it seems like quite the undertaking," Smith explained. "But when it all starts coming together and you see all the hard work paying off...it's really cool." 

Holland College bin project 3

Ethan Laybolt ensures his weld is good and strong. (Tom Steepe/CBC)

'A chance to build confidence'

While he's kept a close eye on his students, instructor Scott Lacey said it has been their work from the beginning.

"It gives them a chance to build confidence," he said. "When you see them take flat metal or raw metal and see them turn it into something that's going to be useful to society, it gives them a feeling of accomplishment."

Joe Ghiz Park

The three wrought iron recycling bins will be installed here at Joe Ghiz Memorial Park in Charlottetown. (Tom Steepe)

Joe Ghiz Memorial Park, across from Holland Colleg's Glendenning Hall, has become a gathering place for day care, birthday parties and similar events. It's used by many college staff and students, and Smith said he and his fellow classmates are looking forward to seeing their work on permanent display.

"Whenever I'm in Charlottetown now and just kind of walking around, and I see those cans, I'll be just like you know what, I built those cans and those cans are going to be here for a long time," Smith said.

"These recycled bins are going to be a lasting legacy for many years to come and it's very important," Bryenton added.