Wasted effort

Campbell Lester, Section Editor

Over the years, the district has tried to implement a recycling policy, but it never seems to stick. Students don’t take time to separate their waste, causing the recycling bin to be another trash can. Efforts to make recycling a part of school are simply a loss of time that could be put towards more meaningful projects. Though many problems can be presented, food contamination is the leading issue in a school environment.

Contaminated recyclable material creates several problems. It attracts pests and creates unsanitary conditions for workers in recycling centers who are sorting through the items. It also causes the salability of processed recyclable loads to decrease. If one item is contaminated in a shipment, then the entire load of recyclable materials will be turned away when it reaches the buyer. Things like greasy pizza boxes and unwashed peanut butter jars can contaminate an entire load of recyclable material. Students don’t have the time or resources to properly clean their trash. Students would have to go to the bathrooms which are unsanitary.

When items are contaminated, it causes major harm to the environment. Non-recyclable materials have to get transferred from the recycling facility to the landfill. On a larger scale, recyclable materials are often shipped to buyers around the world. If they get turned away for contamination, the entire load has to return to where it came from. The extra, unnecessary trips waste resources and cause pollution.

Though recycling is meant to benefit the environment, recycling is not efficient or helpful in a school like setting. Students don’t properly discard their waste causing it to be a negative rather than a positive. Though policies and rules can be set in place, at the end of the day, food waste is going to end up in the recycling bin. Our school should instead introduce more achievable plans such as cutting back on paper or even educating students on the importance of our environment.