School gets on board with recycling program

Students have taken a lot more notice of recycling in the past week. This is a direct result of the work of environmental studies classes. Mrs. Pettig and her students organized two big promotions of the new recycling program last week.

On Tuesday, March 23 and Thursday, March 25, the environmental studies kids gave out stickers during lunch and awarded raffle tickets for QuickTrip and Wherenberg gift cards to students they saw recycling in the new balloon-decked bins. Posters encouraging recycling have been posted all over the school as well.

They are trying to cultivate excitement for the much-improved recycling program, which the district has gotten on board with. Recycling has been done by the environmental studies kids and their teacher since 1997. The students collected all the bins from around the school, sorted through what could actually be recycled and dumped any liquid remaining in them. Then, Mrs. Pettig would take the sorted, dry load to a recycling center. Any aluminum was sold, and the money was used to buy the prizes for this promotion.

Now, single-stream recycling allows students to recycle much more. The school actually has a dumpster for recycling and takes many more things than they used to.

“The idea is to reduce the waste stream in the district, which would go to a landfill,” said Mrs. Pettig.

All plastics and corrugated cardboard are some big things on the new list of recyclables. Also, the new red plastic baskets in the cafeteria are washed and reused, and the custodians take out large plastic bags designated for recycling, as well as trash.

Mrs. Pettig is very enthusiastic about recycling and taking care of the environment, hoping to overcome a little of teenagers’ apathy.

“We don’t always see rewards from [recycling], but in the long run we hope we will,” said Mrs. Pettig.