School recycling needs prioritization

Graphic by Cecilia Barbosa

Graphic by Cecilia Barbosa

Cecilia Barbosa, Opinion Editor

Thousands of students across the America eat school lunch every day, starting from elementary to high school. They pick their stuff to leave, throw away their cardboard trey & milk and plastic silverware.

Many of them don’t think twice about it because it’s the normal routine, the same one that they have practicing for years.

They all may not realize how big of an impact this simple routine can do. About 254 million tons of trash is disposed of every day in the U.S. according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

As a student body we contribute to this everyday throughout the school year. All the trash we throw away is produced by the school, yet they teach us to recycle and to use renewable items.

For years scientist and the community have been talking about the growing number of recyclables not being recycled pilling up in land fields and in the ocean. At some point in time everyone has learned or talked about this in class, so none of this is a should be new.

What I see is that schools are doing the very thing they taught us not to do, creating trash that’s not needed. They teach us how to recycle and make an important point about it, but they don’t seem to act on their words.

There are many things they could be doing like, changing everything to online and minimizing paper assignments. I think using the plastic plates and real silver wear and reusing them day to day lunch would be a good idea too.

A single student can produce about 45 to 90 pounds of garbage in a school year according to the Waste Free Lunches organization.

Even getting bigger recycling bins in classrooms and around the school along with expanding the option to recycle more items.

In many ways this could reduce the cost we spend on paper we only use once and buying plastic and cardboard.

I don’t see students finding interest in recycling. If it’s not being pushed as an option, they won’t go out of their way just to make it happen. Reaching out to the students about the issue or a least reminding them directly it’ll have more of an impact on the student body.

Being able to make even the smallest changes is still working towards something bigger.