Seniors Johann Dias and Max Schmitz distribute recycling bins throughout the school on Sept. 3.

New environmental club distributes 66 recycling bins throughout school

Members of the newly formed environmental club placed new recycling bins throughout the lower, middle and high schools on Sept. 3.

Senior Johann Dias is the president of the Environmental Awareness Club, which is overseen by garden coordinator Michael Covey and drama director Brian Frishman.

The idea of recycling bins started late last school year when Covey noticed that some teachers had created their own recycling bins out of cardboard boxes for many years. Covey then conducted research online about recycling bins.  

“There were consistent pushes from students and administration for recycling bins,” Covey said.

In the middle of the summer, Covey submitted a proposal to chief financial officer Bill Petchauer for the recycling bins. Petchauer decided that the cost ($4.21 per bin) was reasonable and placed the order.

The school ordered 66 bins, a total of $275.

Once the bins arrived, Covey and students of the Environmental Awareness Club started distributing them right away.

Dias and senior Max Schmitz helped distribute the bins to the lower and middle school during the first period of the day and then throughout the high school during the last period.

Senior Johann Dias, the president of the Environmental Awareness Club, advised by garden coordinator Michael Covey and drama director Brian Frishman, delivers a new recycling bin to math teacher Chris Millsback's room.
Adam Ketchum
Senior Johann Dias, president of the Environmental Awareness Club (advised by garden coordinator Michael Covey and drama director Brian Frishman), delivers a new recycling bin to teacher Chris Millsback’s room.

However the bins pose some challenges. Currently, the janitorial staff at school is short-staffed, according to Covey. That means that sometimes the janitors do not have enough time to empty the bins.

Consequently, Dias, Schmitz and the other club members will empty all of the bins through September and October, until the janitorial staff is full again.

The club is also experiencing some problems with what is being recycled.

“In the past week we have had to throw away many bags of recycling,” Dias said, “because they are unrecyclable from people recycling things that are still covered with food or full of liquid.”

Dias and Covey said that the club asks people to recycle only empty plastic and glass bottles, aluminum cans and paper. They do not want dirty paper products, food and non-empty beverage bottles and cans. New signs have been placed across the campus to reinforce these rules.

And the club has even bigger plans for the future.

“We can eventually work up to recycling more stuff, but we have to start off small to learn first how to recycle properly,” Covey said.

As for how he thinks the bins are working now, Covey said, “It seems like the recycling bins are getting a good student and faculty response so far, and only time will tell.”

Awareness of the bins may be the first step.  

“I haven’t even noticed any new recycling bins in any of the classrooms,” freshman Grace Naify said

By Jack Christian

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