Reuse, Reduce, Recycle

The recycling dilemma and what’s being done about it

Cole Filer, Entertainment Editor

Urban decay plagues our hallways. Millard West is slowly but surely becoming a desolate wasteland. And our recycling bins are being completely and utterly abused. So much so that there may be no return to a more civilized age.

Students are throwing away all their unwanted perishables into the recycling bins, not using them for their intended purposes. But among this apocalyptic badland stands a knight in shining armor, our hero, social studies teacher Alexander Fields.

“We are 2,600 people in a building,” Fields said. “And we produce an enormous amount of empty plastic, glass and aluminum. I think it’s just criminal to not recycle all of that.”

Last year National Honors Society (NHS) and a few other clubs were responsible for picking up the recycling each week. But they have since stopped leaving the job undone, and hallways unkept.

“I’m not really sure as to why they didn’t make it a volunteer opportunity this year,” senior Ashton Koch said. “I think that lots of people were reluctant to do it. It’s not necessarily the hardest thing to do, but it does take a while to just go through and pick everything up. And students are very lazy.”

Fields saw that nothing was being done about the recycling. So he decided that it was time to do it himself. Recycling isn’t a program or a club, it’s simply just students taking initiative and doing what’s best for our environment.

“It’s doing what needs to be done,” Fields said. “I have some from my class that help, I have some from my QT that help and I have kids from NHS that help. It’s just whoever shows up. If no one shows up, I do it.”

Students are disposing all their garbage in the recycling creating a sizable mess for whoever has to pick up the bins. It has become a huge issue among the school and is doing nothing to help the environment.

“Kids somehow can’t figure out that a green bin is for recycling and not garbage, and that a grey bin is for garbage and not recycling,” Fields said. “They’re lazy, they’re teenagers. I get it. But it’s frustrating when you’re cleaning out a recycling bin and there’s a bunch of trash in there.”

Not only is the recycling situation here at West hurting our hallways and tarnishing our image. But it is above all else destroying our environment.

“When I see kids throwing away plastic bottles into the trash can it actually makes me feel sick,” junior and president of Eco-West Adrian Nissen said. “Students aren’t using the recycling bins for their intended purposes and it really is sad. That plastic bottle that was thrown away in the trash was more than just a bottle. Its an idea”

Not all hope is lost though. Some students have actually theorized as to how to fix the situation.

“It should be more inforced,” junior Shannon Wurtele said. “We need to have more posters hung up around the school. We don’t have enough recycling bins either. Like at lunch we have no recycling bin. And I think that’s pretty awful.”

Although we don’t have a set club or schedule for recycling. It still gets done.

“Students are going to be sitting in the parking lot for close to 25 minutes anyways,” Fields said. “They might as well come help us pick up the recycling. We usually meet in my room (256) on Thursdays after school. You’ll even get service hours for it.”

The recycling situation is most definitely looking up. Kids are actually starting to realize that trash needs to go in the trash can. And not the recycling. As the school year draws on hopefully the mindfulness of our students will too.