by | Gianna DiPasquale
After years of a lack of recycling and efforts towards sustainability, the Office of the North East ISD Utilities, Energy Management, and Sustainability announced that schools will now have what is called Single Stream Recycling. This means that the items being recycled are not confined to just paper and cardboard.
“When items are put in the trash and taken to the landfills, when decomposing they create methane gas which is emitted into the atmosphere,” North East ISD Energy Manager David McDowell said. “Then you have plastics and glass that take a very long time to or do not decompose.”
These efforts were brought to the attention of school administrators and staff, and are encouraging active participation in reducing environmental pollution.
“We all know how hard our custodians work,” Principal Joaquin Hernandez said. “For students, I think it’s a necessary awareness that needs to happen.”
This is not just something for the custodial staff to focus on. This program is also trying to get students to take initiative and encourage each other to keep sustainability and the environment in mind.
“I would like to see students volunteer to help collect the recyclables from the classrooms and during lunch periods in the cafeteria, create and make posters to place around the campus to promote recycling,” McDowell said. “They could make containers for classrooms for recycling collections, even if it is made from cardboard.”
The action of recycling and re-using is not just helpful for the school, but for the district as well. Some see this as a way to spread this out to the larger community.
“I believe that this will benefit the district as a whole because it will help build a community with the students,” Environmental Science teacher Adrianne Caga said. “It’ll also help them be more mindful of their impact on the environment.”
The school itself is going to put in efforts to encourage and promote recycling and the proper disposal of trash.
“What I’d like to do is work with student groups and certain classes on creating recycling teams. Teams that lead that effort for us,” Hernandez said.
The district’s officials and school staff are hoping that this will expand the determination among students to be mindful of what is going into the landfills, and how the student body and take control of this.
“There really are no limits,” McDowell said.