Environmental team launches recycling bins

A study done by Columbia University estimates that each American throws away seven pounds of trash each day, adding up to 2,555 pounds per American per year. 

The Environmental Awareness Team (E.A.T) hopes to bring that number down by educating the student body on how to recycle. On Monday, April 1, the team put out 19 recycling bins near every major trash can in the high school, making sure there was one in every hallway. Above the bins, posters they hung that telling students what goes in the trash and what goes in the recycling bins. 

Senior E.A.T leader Maya Gabriele said that the high school does not have enough recycling education. “Before this project, we had a couple of recycling bins in the library like for paper. People know they’re supposed to recycle paper, OK. Nothing else. No, recycling education, not even am I supposed to recycle this?” 

With the release of the bins, the team also created a video about the bins and how recycling benefits the planet. Gabriele said she hopes the informational video, posters and the bins make a difference. “This video we made to educate people shows that recycling has a big impact on the earth,” she said. “By us giving our high school this education and knowledge now, where they can develop this skill—like they know how to sort their garbage and recycle it—that’s going to have an impact on the the planet.” 

The project started with E.A.T senior member Sydney Householder. “I didn’t really know what kind of recycling bins we would get or where we would put them or who would be involved with it. I just know I wanted them,” Householder said. 

Environmental science teacher Jason Lang, informed Householder about the recycling bins at University of Northern Iowa and suggested to the team they try and get the bins at the high school. “So we contacted Jenny Bruce at UNI; she works with the community. She came and met with us a couple of times to see what recycling bins we needed.” Householder said. “Next thing we knew she emailed us and asked when she can get the recycling bins over here.” 

To get the bins in the high school the team also coordinated with administration and janitors. 

Householder said even though the recycling bins are out, it may take some time to see an impact. “It might not be an immediate thing. It might take a year because students need to be educated on what they can and cannot recycle, how things need to be cleaned, etc.,” she said.

The team warns the students to watch what they put in the recycling bins. “Know that your container two thirds full of yogurt can’t go in there. If we keep having a bunch of trash be put in there, we’re probably going to decide to not have it out for everyone to use,” Householder said. The Environmental Awareness Team is not done leaving their mark on the high school. They are looking for artists at the high school to paint the trash cans in the parking lot. “The reason that we wanted to paint the trash cans out in the parking lot is to make them more noticeable so students can be like, ‘Oh, hey. I can put my trash over there instead of putting it out of my car,’” Householder said. 

Students who would like to paint a trash can can contact the Environmental Awareness Team at Enviroat@gmail.com.

You must be logged in to post a comment Login

Leave a Reply