Campus paper recycling program cut

The blue wastepaper baskets were removed from all classrooms during the past few weeks and the paper recycling dumpster behind the cafeteria is gone, marking the end of the campus-wide program to recycle paper.

“The program was eliminated because the company that supplied the dumpster removed it since we did not meet their minimum limits for the amount of paper recycled,” said environmental science teacher Paula Ladd, who spearheaded the recycling effort.

The school produced eight tons of paper a year, but in order to maintain the dumpster, a 12-tons minimum is required. Assistant Principal for Facilities Jim Melia said perhaps the change is a case of addition by subtraction.

“Apparently the dumpster we have for recycling could be better used elsewhere at a school where they have more recyclables than us,” he said. We have about a thousand people on campus every day each year. Maybe there is a place where they have two thousand people that needs the recycling program more than we do.”

Because there is no longer a way to get the wastepaper from the school to the recycling plant, the paper will be taken with the rest of the trash that is sent to the county landfill.

“Unfortunately, the paper just goes in the trash unless we can come up with another solution,” Ladd said. “I’m not happy. It pains me to put paper in the trash. It just seems like an unnecessary waste.”

Even though the school no longer will recycle paper, it will continue to recycle plastic bottles.

“[Custodian Jorge Ortiz] is like a one man recycling team with those plastic bottles,” Melia said. “I’ve seen him grab them at the last second so that they don’t get thrown away. We have an elementary school that comes and picks up our plastic bottles, so that will not be changed.”

By Keiran Sheridan