Ignorance is not bliss when it comes to recycling
The scoop on what recycling does for our planet.
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Ever since we were children, we’ve been encouraged to recycle, whether it was by our parents or our school. But when did we all stop caring about recycling?
When we are not recycling, we are directly affecting the earth that we walk on. Recycling is so important- the items are able to be reused, so that the earth doesn’t have to be scavenged for more of those materials, such as paper and plastics.
This past year, our school has provided us a new system with a trash can, recycle bin and a bucket to pour liquids into in order to be able to recycle the container. Unfortunately, there are people at our school who are not taking advantage of the system and throwing their leftover food into the recycle bins instead of separating their items. When this happens, the entire bag of recycling has now become trash and cannot be recycled.
One of our nighttime custodians, Daniel Studdard, has to throw away 20 percent or more recycle bags everyday because of our students’ negligence.
“The amount of recycling that has to be thrown away from contamination ranges from 20% to 60% depending on the event. Most people, without thinking, will accidentally recycle 20% of what can’t be recycled. However, at large events (basketball games and dances) with lots of people in a crowded area, the amount of bags contaminated goes way up to sometimes 60%,” Studdard said.
We have become negligent about what we are throwing away, into whichever bin is nearest. Take an extra 30 seconds to sort out the items, and place trash in the trash can and recyclables into the recycle bin. It doesn’t take much time and helps save the environment.
When you recycle, you are doing a big favor for Mother Nature. By recycling everything that you are able to, it fights against climate change and reduces fossil fuels.
“[Recycling] minimizes us taking new things out of the environment. So having to cut down trees for paper, or mine new metals, or refine things into glass,” AP environmental teacher, Ms. Olson said.
As our population is rapidly increasing, the demand for new materials does too; therefore, the need to recycle is more and more important.
Large corporations are buying out our forests and rainforests, and in order to get more paper, plastic, glass etc, other companies have to chop down trees and mine for more materials. If we all put forth a little bit more effort to recycle, we can help do our part of saving the environment from getting more damaged, and we can reuse materials already made.
Down below is a list of items that we often have with us at school that are able to be recycled. Please do your part to save the earth!
- Iced coffee cups once the ice is poured out
- Hot coffee cup lids
- Empty water bottles without the caps
- All types of paper (take off any tape first)
- Plastic cups
- Plastic yogurt and applesauce containers (rinsed)
- Cardboard (should be broken down)
- Clean glass
- Washed out metal and metal containers