How to Recycle For Grades Kindergarten and Up

Grace Phillips, Staff Writer

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I once looked a kid dead in the eyes and cussed him out for tossing his water bottle in the trash can.

As opposed to what, you may ask? Oh, I don’t know, maybe using the recycling bin that was right there. What is it with young people and their resistance to recycling?

It’s amazing how something so simple could be met with so much force. In the three years that I’ve been a High School student, I have witnessed at least 400 plastic bottles be thrown into trash cans. Why is this such an issue? Let’s start with the school itself. The high school only has two plastic recycling bins; one in each lunchroom. It’s impossible to shift all of the blame onto students when they only have two options to do the right thing. It’s unrealistic to expect students to march to the lunchroom every time they empty a water bottle, but is it so unrealistic that Knoch would have more than two plastic recycling bins?

However, this is no excuse for that one idiot who thinks that chucking his Aquafina into the garbage instead of the recycling bin will somehow raise his social status from total loser to Godlike. You absolute buffoon.

FACTS: stop using plastic straws, they’re bad for the environment.
If you do have to use them, make the effort to recycle them afterwards. Make the switch to metal or steel straws; they’re dishwasher safe and don’t get stuck inside sea turtles. Buy a reusable water bottle and if you have to use a plastic one just wash and reuse it instead of pitching it after one use. The school needs more than two recycling bins and the students need to learn to use them. The piece of printer paper taped above the recycling bin in the senior café that says “recycling” with an arrow pointing down, needs to be replaced.

For those kids out there who are still confused on how to use those big blue bins in the lunchrooms, here’s an easy to follow step-by-step guide.

You’ve just finished lunch, and boy was it tasty! On your plate is a napkin, leftover food, a plastic fork, and a plastic water bottle.
Step 1: Approach the trash cans and recycling bin.
Step 2: Analyze the objects on your plate. Decide what is trash and what is recyclable.
Step 3: Where does the napkin and leftover food go? In the trash can, good job!
Step 4: This is the final step so bear with me, you’re doing great. Now, where does the plastic fork and the plastic water bottle go? Yes, in the recycling bin! You did it, congratulations!

This has been a PSA.

Emma Velesig thought she could get away with throwing her water bottle in the trash. She thought wrong.