Go Blue to Go Green

Ian Raybon and Catherine Hathaway

Go Blue to Go Green

Jillian Sanders, Staff Reporter/Print Editor

Among the approximately 46 percent of students who recycle at school, few of them are aware that their papers and cans may never make the journey to a recycling plant. This is due to the problem facing blue recycling bins all across school: once a piece of trash goes into a recycling bin, none of its contents can be recycled.

“What’s lacking in the system is that the occupants of the building aren’t putting materials in the right receptacle,” Principal’s administrative assistant Lynda Fleming said. “Our custodians aren’t expected to weed through a recycling bin and sort out the trash. If it has just like a banana peel or a piece of lunch the whole thing has to be thrown out.”

To help promote the school’s new recycling system, the school recently got blue recycling bins for every classroom.

“It’s ridiculous that [the school] has all these new recycling bins yet they can’t recycle most of it,” sophomore Annalee Johnson said. “It’s not eco-friendly.”

Another addition to the system is that recycling materials can now be mixed.

“We used to have to separate the paper from other recycling, but now it all goes together since we switched companies,” Fleming said.

Although there are now blue uniform recycling bins throughout the school, recycling amounts are still not up to par despite the renewed efforts. Besides the original problem of one piece of trash ruining the contents of the recycling bin, a further problem is that once there is trash in the recycling bin, students continue to pile more trash on top of it.

Some items that can be recycled.
Some items that can be recycled.

“If someone sees trash [in the recycling bin] then it tells them that it’s corrupted and they will just continue to throw trash in it,” Principal Gavan Goodrich said. “However, if someone sees a recycling bin and it’s clean of trash, then they will keep it going and refrain from putting trash in there.”

The administration hopes by familiarizing students with the basics of recycling it will bring a new culture and furthermore a more eco-friendly school.

Some items that cannot be recycled.
Some items that cannot be recycled.

“[My view on it] is that we have to educate people-the students, the teachers, everyone,” Fleming said. “People know they can [recycle] but they don’t take the time to think ‘oh this is paper, I can put it in the recycling.”

In order to educate everybody at the school, some big steps will have to be taken.

“We’ll have to make a visual, oral, and emotional point to people, and do it multiple times to really prove a point,” Goodrich said. “People won’t change unless something dramatic is done.”