STAUNTON, Va. (WVIR) - Bessie Weller Elementary students in Staunton are filling a metal whale with plastic.

The sculpture, designed by a VMI professor, is a replica of an immature whale that washed ashore in the Philippines. It died because of 88 pounds of plastic in its belly.

Bessie Weller is the first stop for this Shenandoah Green project, and it was chosen for its composting initiative. A leader with the environmental action group says the whale heads to Waynesboro schools in December.