Does EHS actually recycle?

Tori Westenberg and Dani Fraher

Think about it: from the start of your education to now, you’ve used a LOT of paper. Even with the switch to technology, between notebooks and worksheets, it all adds up. But where does it all go? Is it all getting recycled? After speaking with the custodians of EHS we discovered the processes of where our trash goes and how much of it gets reused. 


At the end of the day, all trash is collected from trash cans and bins around the school and stored in a trash receptacle near the teacher’s parking lot. As for the paper you tossed in… it’s mixed in with the rest of the trash. Custodian Jeff Bent explains that “it’s dependent on how much students put the recycling in it’s correct bins.” However, most teachers don’t have separate trash and recycling bins, therefore custodians don’t have a need to collect trash and recycling separately.


“The things most recycled are the boxes from our kitchen or district wide warehouse,” Bent reveals. It would be too time consuming for the custodians to spend their days sorting through trash bins to find paper that’s able to be recycled, leaving most of it to be mixed in with trash. Once gum, food, or liquid has touched an item that is known to be recyclable, it’s no longer usable for recycling. Most of our classroom trash cans contain these culprits, whether it’s your PAWS treats, a soiled container, or a snotty tissue, they all contaminate the contents of the whole bin.


At the end of each week, the huge trash and recycling containers are shipped off to local republic services to be processed. When asked if more of the recyclable items would end up being recycled if there were specific bins for it, Bent replied, “maybe…but the critical part is not the bins, but getting people to use them correctly. The kids just throw things in and pretty soon none of it’s usable any more. A whole bin of paper plus one coffee cup ruins it all.”


So does EHS recycle? Yes, but it’s up to you to help it get there. There’s a large recycling biN right outside the counselors office that would be a great place to put your salvageable items. 


Here’s a few tips on recycling:

-DON’T recycle if your item has liquid, food, or any kind of stains on it.

-DON’T recycle plastic bags, wrapping or containers. 

-DO check your item to see if it has a recycle symbol on it

-DO save and recycle your clean paper and cardboard 

-If possible, try to wash out your used recyclable bottles or cans as to not soil the rest of the materials


By following these steps we can help our school to become a greener and more eco-friendly place!