How Does LHS Recycle?

How Does LHS Recycle?

Molly Roche

For a long time, everybody knew that anything in the blue recycling bins throughout the school would be dumped in with the trash and that was that. However, in more recent months we have made more of an effort to actually recycle.

There are many things that could be recycled in a school environment. We have plenty of paper that could be recycled, like old homework or classwork assignments, notes, copy paper, flyers, posters, projects, and mail. For every one ton of paper recycled, 17 trees are saved. Imagine how many trees we could save by recycling our paper instead of putting it in the trash.

The cafeteria alone provides for a major opportunity to recycle; items like plastic or glass bottles, wrappers, utensils, and cans are thrown in the garbage everyday rather than the recycling bin.

I asked our school principal, Mr. Walter, a few questions about the way we recycle and this is what he had to say:

Q. What are the guidelines LHS follows for recycling?

A. Recycle bins are placed in hallways, classrooms, and offices to encourage staff and students to recycle paper, plastic, aluminum, and cardboard items. These items can be placed all in the same baskets as they are separated at the recycling center.

Q. What materials are actually recycled from the school? (paper/plastic/glass etc.)

A. We do recycle all of the items listed above. The custodians collect the items in separate bags each night and the recycle bags are placed in a separate dumpster out back. 

Q. What is the school board/staff/administration doing to promote recycling in school? 

A. I think the biggest way that the district has promoted recycling is by making it a mandatory process at all schools and buildings in the district. When I first started teaching in Lakewood individual buildings would have volunteer recycling programs but it was not a district-wide expectations. Now, all of the new buildings it is mandatory and the necessary recycling bins and dumpsters are at each location within the district. 

Q. Do you think it is important that LHS makes more of an effort to recycle and reduce waste?

A. I absolutely think it is our responsibility to recycle and to reduce waste. Recently I watched a documentary on the amount of plastics that are being dumped into our oceans. The negative impact on marine life and the destruction of the natural beauty of our earth’s oceans was highly disturbing and worrisome. I think we do need to increase our awareness of how the human footprint impacts our environment now and in the future. The overall health of our world is being negatively impacted and we all need to do our part to reduce the environmental contamination humans are causing.  
I think that education is the first step in making any significant change in how well we protect our environment. The more educated people are on environmental issues the more likely they will take advantage of recycling. Furthermore, teaching people more eco-friendly alternatives will result in changes in behavior that will benefit the environment.