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The Journal Gazette

Monday, May 15, 2017 1:00 am

Immerse district in recycling lessons

Madison Pengelly

Madison Pengelly is a junior at Homestead High School.

At lunch I watch as students throw away bottles and styrofoam trays without thinking of the negative impact they may have on the environment.

In my school, I find few recycle bins that can be used for any recyclable item, not just for scrap paper.

I feel that more recycle bins need to be readily available for the students and staff in school districts across the United States to prevent further encroachment on the environment through our landfills.

Adding recycle bins is one thing; actually using them is another.

Having recycle bins throughout the school does not necessarily make students and staff recycle more, but if the districts educate students on this ongoing environmental issue, then there are likely to be better results.

Students and staff in each district need to be actively participating in recycling whenever possible.

Currently, the schools in Allen County have recycle bins for paper only in the classroom. Eliminating putting paper in the garbage is a step in the right direction; however, at lunch students accumulate an abundance of recyclable materials and have no choice but throw those items in the garbage.

With the placement of recycle bins in both the lunchroom and classrooms that permit all recyclable products to be put in, our schools will be a greener place. Once other districts across Indiana, and eventually the country, see how students and staff can make a difference on the eco-system by just recycling more, they will likely follow suit.

Items that are commonly thrown away instead of recycled are plastic bottles and cardboard. Just one plastic bottle takes between 450 and 500 years to decompose. Imagine all the bottles you have thrown away instead of recycled.

We are encasing ourselves in a world full of trash. We can eliminate a majority of the trash waste by putting as many items as possible in the bins with the recycle emblem rather than the garbage bins.

Recycling has abundant benefits in our community and beyond.

The process helps support the lessons of environmental stewardship and conservation of nature for all students in the district.

Keeping students aware of the environment they live in is important; what better way to teach them than by having the hands-on recycling experience at their school?

Landfills continue to grow, taking up more and more space. Meanwhile, nature is hidden to make room for the footprints humans are leaving behind.

We as a community need to be aware we are not the only living things that have a home on this planet; there are many other creatures suffering because of our ignorance about the waste we leave behind.

Southwest Allen County School District can make a change by reducing waste and starting a large recycling process.

I challenge the Southwest Allen school board to implement more recycling bins throughout the district and begin emphasizing the importance of recycling and the benefits it will have on our community to students and staff.