The Right Way to Recycle

Kayla Sullivan

HHS Environmental Club members Tess Morningstar, Sophie Doherty, Joanna Schell, and Juliana Tordella complete their recycling rounds after school. Photo by Kayla Sullivan

By Kayla Sullivan
Although the HHS Environmental Club encourages all staff and students to recycle their plastic bottles, not all bottles can be recycled because there are either caps left on them or liquid still in them.  The bottles and caps are made of different types of plastic; therefore, they are recycled separately at the plant. Environmental Club members do their best to remove caps and liquid, but they cannot do it all on their own; they need the school’s help.

There is a recycling bin in each classroom, two in the library, two in the office, and two large bins in the cafeteria.  While many people in the school recycle their bottles, most don’t realize that the cap should be removed from the bottle before it goes into one of the recycling bins.  Currently, the Environmental Club, advised by HHS biology teacher James Marzec, is thinking of ways to alert people of the proper way to recycle, such as making boxes for students and staff to put the caps in.

In addition to plastic bottles, Environmental Club members take on the task of recycling all of the school’s paper, bottles, and ink cartridges.  They are also looking to expand their efforts.  Tess Morningstar, HHS junior and Recycling Coordinator of the club, said, “We are looking to recycle the cafeteria trays, which are made out of Styrofoam.  Another thing we are working on is paper towels; we have been putting signs in the bathrooms because people tend to take way too many.  The main issue we are working on is people leaving caps on the bottles, or liquid in them.”

Tess and Mr. Marzec both agreed that in order for students to recycle properly, their teachers must recycle properly as well.  As a biology teacher, Mr. Marzec stated, “What I’m trying to do is reduce my paper consumption, and I think technology has been helpful with that.  As far as bottle recycling, I try to lead by example.  I think that teachers need to be leaders, and if they want to change their students’ behavior then they need to lead by example.”  Some teachers encourage their students to recycle properly, and “hang signs to remind their students to take the caps off of the bottles, which makes our job a lot easier,” Tess said.

By educating people on how to recycle properly, the club hopes that the school’s recycling program will continue to improve.  Mr. Marzec stated, “I take pride in the fact that we have a really good recycling program in the school.  Students and faculty have been getting into it, so that’s a positive.  The main thing is trying to raise awareness.”