BY ALEXANDRA SANSONE
“Reduce, reuse, recycle” is perhaps the simplest way of describing eco-friendly waste management, and over the years, efforts have been made both worldwide and in our own backyard to implement the popular phrase.
CCHS Environmental Club has been promoting positive conservation tactics over the years through activities like beach cleanups and announcing environmental facts on the morning announcements. The club’s signature activity, however, is weekly recycling pickups.
Members stop by each classroom to collect the contents of recycling bins and place the recyclables in a separate area for pick up. This school year, they were surprised to hear the rumor that their efforts were, allegedly, in vain.
Though the rumor that the school doesn’t recycle the materials collected is lacking a source, Environmental Club has already switched gears and is hoping to participate in projects that can have more of an impact.
” … Now, we have more time to focus on the school and making the school a more eco-friendly place.”
“I think before because our main focus was on collecting recycling, we didn’t really get the opportunity to plan a lot of school-oriented projects, but it obviously wasn’t doing as much as we thought it was,” Environmental Club President Jada Pallagi said. “So now, we have more time to focus on the school and making the school a more eco-friendly place, rather than just only us collecting recycling.”
Science teacher and Environmental Club Sponsor Jacqueline Selan shares similar sentiments. Selan said that though the recycling collection was and is important, she is happy to see the club broadening its horizons.
“Now I feel like we are going abroad, we’re working on a garden project amongst other things and [I’m looking forward to] people feeling like they are making a difference,” Selan said. “I think it builds a good sense of community when people come in and they are doing something, whether it’s a garden or making a flower out of their plastic water bottle.”
Though the club is satisfied with its change of pace, the rumor that prompted it may have been just a rumor. A call to Broward County Public Schools’ Energy Conservation Department revealed that CCHS does recycle, or at least the school is supposed to.
“I think it builds a good sense of community when people come in and they are doing something, whether it’s a garden or making a flower out of their plastic water bottle.”
According to the Broward County representative spoken to, the CCHS custodial staff is responsible for placing recyclable materials from the blue bins located in classrooms into the recycling container outside the cafeteria. The cafeteria staff also contributes recyclable items from packaging they do not use. Then, he said, the recyclables are picked up by Coastal Waste and Recycling (not Waste Management) once a week.
According to Coastal Waste and Recycling representative Doug, the recyclable items are picked up and brought to transfer stations. The materials are separated and cleaned to later be recycled and distributed.
Though this information affirms that CCHS does recycle materials, some are still hesitant to believe that the recyclable materials are being collected separately from other waste from classrooms.
“Everyone has a different say on what is actually happening with recycling,” Pallagi said. “But obviously we [want to] revisit collecting the recycling to help out the custodians because that’s originally what [Environmental Club] was founded to do.”
Photo by Anabella Garcia