Should Birmingham Consider More Recycling Options on Campus?

Kristy Pinedo, Managing Editor

The majority of campuses, particularly large ones like Birmingham Community Charter High School, serve as examples for other schools and institutions in the surrounding area. They do this by adhering to simple behavioral morals and ethical conduct.  For example, the ones we pride ourselves on here at Birmingham are respect, empathy, accountability, choice, and honesty (REACH).

This example also entails displaying our school’s appearance and atmosphere to new students or visitors from outside the Birmingham community. Students have a sense of pride in their school, and a school ought to serve as an example for the students it educates. Students need to be able to take pride in their school and the things it teaches them to do and how to act as they develop into adults.

Despite the fact that Birmingham upholds all of these ideals, I can’t help but believe that we could improve both ourselves and our community even more, and what could be more beneficial than… recycling!

Recycling bin located outside classroom E23A (photo: Kristy Pinedo)

As a student at Birmingham, I have seen that the school does not provide its students with a functioning recycling system that they may regularly utilize. It is possible that Birmingham is transporting its waste to recycling facilities, but the likelihood of this happening is quite low.

Although there is no official recycling system at school, I have seen trash cans with a sad aspect to them with the word ‘recycle’ printed on them. I am unsure of where they originated or if they are in the recycling system we have in place at Birmingham. These random recycling bins aren’t an effective way to encourage students to recycle because they blend into the background too much.

I would love a system where I have the chance to help the planet and keep our school clean and environmentally friendly, and I’m sure that others feel the same way. What I’m talking about is implementing a system that encourages students to recycle. By doing this, we are training this generation (the future of this world) to be more environmentally-conscious.

Recycling bin located inside room G46 (photo: Kristy Pinedo)

Implementing recycling at school would benefit Birmingham in many ways. The advantages of even just one school beginning to recycle are limitless–for example, saving resources, providing jobs, reducing waste, and saving energy. Schools that contribute to recycling not only benefit themselves but also the community around them and, even more broadly speaking, the planet we live on!

For instance, schools that recycle could help reduce the amount of waste that is sent to landfills. This is extremely noteworthy when one considers that the majority of the trash that originates from schools is a combination of the food that is thrown away and the supplies that are thrown away.  Although these should be thrown out separately, most of the time, if not all the time, they are dumped together.  This is especially alarming when you take into consideration the thousands of kids that attend Birmingham.

The advantages of recycling at school are not limited to the school itself; they may also assist the community as recycling can create employment opportunities for those who are struggling to make ends meet.

It is common knowledge that the earth is sick. It’s a dying world with people who seem to care less and less about it every day. Many people have stopped trying to save it because they think their efforts are worthless.

Nevertheless, I still have hope for this world and small things like recycling really do mean something. Even though it might not seem like it’ll make a difference, it’s still worth a try. Schools could train students to recycle while they are still young by instituting a recycling system.

Providing this recycling opportunity could ensure a future where these students see recycling as a habit instead of a forced action. Birmingham should demonstrate respect and empathy for the world, honesty, and responsibility for our school choices.

Recycling is a choice that we as a community can take and I truly think we should take it.