Time to recycle the old ways

Nick Clark, Writer

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Recycling has long been an issue, especially when a discussion pops up regarding what is and is not recyclable.

Many people grow up not knowing what is recyclable and don’t end up recycling because of the lack of education.

“Kids these days don’t know what is recyclable or don’t care enough to even try recycling,” Dan Plimpton, a science teacher at BFA, said.

Plimpton talked about all the money the United States could be saving if everyone recycled. 

Many things that get put in recycling are not recyclable. This is due to people who aren’t educated about recycling.

Some of the most common non-recyclable materials put in recycling bins are plastic bags, paper cups, paper scraps, condiment packets, and cardboard.

Efforts are being made by the faculty of BFA to remind students what is recyclable versus what is not.

Plimpton’s Environmental Science class, in addition to recycling on Fridays, created posters that were put all around the school to help educate them about recycling.

“Ms. Magnan and I with our classes take the time to recycle around the school and help everyone out,” Plimpton said.

BFA’s recycling gets picked up every Friday and is sent to the Chittenden Solid Waste District (CSWD) Materials Recovery Facility in Williston, VT.

People throw away recyclable materials, which actually makes the process harder. Workers have to sort through garbage to collect non-recyclable materials that are being thrown away.

“We have someone working all day sorting through garbage for recyclable materials because people don’t recycle the correct way,” Rhonda Mace, the School Outreach Coordinator for CSWD Materials Recovery Facility, said.

At the facility, they sort recycling materials and crush the different components into large squares, where it gets transported to another facility to become something “new.”

According to the CSWD Materials Recovery Facility, the facility handles 12,431 tons of recyclables per year.

“The communities have been improving on the recycling issues and over the years have been making our jobs easier,” Mace said.

The Northwest Technical Center (NWTC) has a newly created news show called Between the Bells.  This student produced “show” provides a great opportunity for the science classes to create ways to show the school how to recycle.

“We are planning on creating educational videos to be shown on Between the Bells to further educate the students about recycling,” Plimpton said.

Between the Bells is shown every Wednesday in every advisory, so these videos will reach the whole school, and will be educational for everyone.

The BFA hallways are covered with recycling posters.

According to the US Environmental Protection Agency’s EPA.gov site, “Students, parents, and teachers can all make a difference in reducing waste at school. By practicing the “3 R’s” of waste reduction—reduce, reuse, and recycle—we can all do our part.”

“We are recycling the best we can. As a community we need to better control what is put in recycling, but overall I think we are doing a really decent job,” Plimpton said.

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