Recycling at East Ridge Proves to Be a Mixed Bag

Recycling at East Ridge Proves to Be a Mixed Bag

Written by Ella Pederson

When it comes to environmental issues, there seems to be a general confusion throughout the students and staff of East Ridge–especially when discussing the matter of recycling. Our halls and classrooms are filled with bins marked with recycling symbols and yet, much of the students are unaware if we truly recycle or not.

According to Principal Jim Smokrovich, the short answer is yes. Our school is equipped with bins in the back of the school where all mixed recyclables can go. However, just because our school can recycle does not mean we are doing so. Smokrovich states that custodians are often forced to throw away the recycling instead of putting it in the mixed bins. This is because when students throw trash in the recycling, it can no longer be recycled.

Everyone is responsible for this problem according to Smokrovich. Our current program is unsuccessful and this is largely due to lack of participation on all fronts. Students and staff both need to work together to recycle.

President of the Environmental Club, Emma Mechelke, echoed these sentiments. She believes the largest issue is “environmental apathy,” the fact that students are not putting in the effort to recycle. If we hope to have a successful recycling program, students and staff must take simple steps such as placing recyclables in the correct bins and keeping trash out of the recycling.

Environmental Club also hopes to take steps to resolve these issues by drawing attention to this issue with things such as posters window displays.

“Someone needs to be a leader,” adds Smokrovich. It is now in the hands of the students to end the culture of environmental apathy and bring success to the recycling program.

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