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By Georgia Cox

After noticing Nation Ford students had trouble recycling items that needed to be recycled, biology teacher Breanna Bingham and the Sustainability Club started a new initiative at NFHS to combat problems with recycling.

“Students put recycling into trash bins in the commons and class, as well as trash in the recycling bins, because they don’t pay attention to the labels on the bins,” Bingham said. “The fact that there are no recycling bins in the commons is because kids don’t pay attention.”

The Sustainability Club, however, is working on a better, more effective way of collecting recycling. 

“Since Lee Petitgout left, NFHS Future Farmers of America has stopped helping with recycling around the school, so the custodians had to throw all the recyclable items in the garbage,” senior Fabiana Infante, one of the leaders of NFHS’s Sustainability Club, said. “The sustainability club decided to put matters into our own hands and make it a voluntary act for everyone that would want to help.

“We’re trying to make sure we get everybody’s recycling and take it to the right place,” Infante said.

Victoria Tysdal, another biology teacher, is focused on stopping waste in her classroom.

“I basically force everyone to recycle,” Tysdal said, “and I use washcloths instead of paper towels.”

Although there aren’t many students who sign up to collect recycling, the ones who do care about the environment. Some do it because they want to protect the planet.

“I like helping the Earth,” junior Dathan Dailey said. “I’m scared for our future. If we don’t recycle, in the future our children will think that the earth is a wasteland.”

Others worry about the depletion of Earth’s resources.

“It’s important that we maintain the resources that we have,” sophomore Ashley Olvera-Diaz said, “because we are probably going to run out.”

But why does recycling, specifically in NFHS, even matter?

“We don’t want to contribute to our overfilling of landfills,” Bingham said, “and we want to focus on reducing and reusing.”

As students at NFHS continue not to recycle, more waste is added to landfills, which reflects negatively on the environment. 

“It is our job as the greater species on this planet to keep our planet moving forward, and if we’re not careful, we’re going to lose it pretty fast,” Tysdal said. “We’re in charge of our planet, and nobody else is going to be able to keep it rolling like we will.” 

“The school needs to take recycling more seriously,” Infante said. “We need to raise awareness about helping our environment.”

As of 2023, there are about 2.01 billion tons of waste produced every year, and that number is projected to grow according to the US Environmental Protection Agency. Ending this unnecessary waste at Nation Ford could be the first step in no longer contributing to the negative effects of consumption.

To help out with the Sustainability Club, students can sign up for Bingham’s FLEX on Fridays. 

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