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Does CHS Recycle?

Eden Beyene, Staff Writer

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An obvious question: we see recycling bins in every classroom and hall. The question goes deeper than this, though. A closer look at the contents of CHS recycling bins shows an environmentalist’s nightmare: pens, sodas, and food wrappers mixed in.  

“We find the recycle bins to be contaminated about… every day in some area,” chief building service worker Bryan Epps stated. 

Unfortunately, the few kids who toss trash into recycling bins ruin recycling for everyone. 

Contaminated bins can no longer go into recycling; although BCPS is a recycling school system, at least one bin per day becomes another trash can. What could be reused becomes trash in landfills that will never decompose. 

This violates every moral of Green Club at CHS.  

“We want to make the school a green school,” senior Zeal Goolesby, president of Green Club, said.

Green Club strives to make CHS ecofriendly. They do campus clean ups, along with other projects to help the environment, including routinely helping custodians recycle.  

They know about the recycling problem and are trying to stop it.  

“We are aware of people who actually don’t know what to recycle and what they can’t,” Goolesby said. 

As a result, they are creating signs that outline what can and cannot be recycled. Recyclables include aluminum cans, plastics, and paper. You cannot recycle styrofoam, plates with food, food wrappers, and pens. 

Green club is not the only group of people passionate about recycling. English teacher Rachel Wilkinson has been trying to answer the question of how to promote recycling at CHS. 

Ms. Wilkinson makes announcements during class telling kids how to recycle. She also monitors her bin to make sure only recycling goes into it.  

Senior Hope Cursey has seen students throw things into the wrong bins, although she herself recycles properly. She thinks the school should separate recycling and trash bins in order to discourage contamination. 

Ultimately, though, Ms. Wilkinson thinks we should rely on ourselves to make better choices. 

“I think it comes down to personal responsibility,” Ms. Wilkinson said. 

She believes herd mentality can cause people to make wrong choices when it comes to recycling: when we see others indifferent about recycling, we stop caring as well. However, we should hold ourselves accountable to making our world a better place, and reducing our footprint on the Earth. 

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Does CHS Recycle?