Recycling program promising, but depends on participation

Recycling program promising, but depends on participation

Natalie Chan

Club Commission’s idea gives ownership to clubs, but students must take initative for success


A can of Monster energy drink to start the day. A soda during lunch. A bottle of water for the mile-run during PE class. Seven periods and a much needed trip to the bathroom later, three bottles are in need of  a blue recycling bin. By the end of first semester, those bins may be managed by different clubs around campus because of an innovative idea Club Commission has.

The commission’s innovative system will have student organizations managing their own recycling bin as an MRS Gold project. The club will be responsible for taking care of the waste they collect every week. For its work as an MRS Gold project, it will earn earn an undetermined amount of money for club funds.

For this system to work easily, Club Commission will give any club this opportunity, but service clubs will have priority. The plan will allow service clubs to give responsibility to their members in return for hours or points.
Thanks to Club Commission, recyclables will actually be reused. Photo illustration by Dominique Pieb

The Academic Court, Rally Court, and the area outside the school cafeteria, there are 27 trashcans. In the same locations, there are only eight recycling bins. The numbers do not necessarily mean that the school doesn’t have enough recycling bins for students to use; there is no guarantee that we would use them even if there were more.


However, having more of them around the campus could keep recycling in students minds after lunch. There’s no need to embelish the blue bins. It would help just to have them in students’ line of sight. Also, Students will more likely throw away their cans and bottles if they are now responsible for cleaning up the trash anyway. Ultimately, the greatest aspect of this new system is that it will raise awareness across the campus.


There is a small problem in that, though. The incentives may not be enough to hold students in the face of tedious, manual work. At this point for the recycling program, the question is not about whether it is a good idea. It is not even about whether or not the system will work. It is a question of how long the students will want to work.


Of course, no one can know how the recycling program will work until it is tried, and it is wonderful that the system benefits everyone. The school throws away less, the campus becomes greener, and the student clubs earn a little bit of money.


In the end, the new system is an engaging way to manage the school’s recycling. The bright idea came from both Club Commission and the school administrators who noted that the school does not have an organized system for recycling. Worse yet, when the school year started many of the old recycling bins had disappeared from campus, making this idea more important.


The only way MVHS can progress in today’s green movement is to take the first step forward, and Commission’s recycling program will take our current system right out of the trash bin.