Part of growing into an adult is understanding how one’s individual actions can influence the big picture. As high school students begin to recognize the world around them and the future that awaits after graduation, they need to develop habits and behaviors that speak to a mature sense of personal responsibility as well as an understanding that their well-beings are often bound-up in the health of their communities. WHSAD students have a number of ways to develop themselves into young adults who are ready to participate constructively in society, and those students in the Y-PLAN program have taken it upon themselves to work for a healthier planet by launching the school’s first recycling program. Supported by Ms. Tom, Y-PLAN students are part of an organization that works with communities to raise awareness on how to better care for the environment and their communities. To learn more about the Y-PLAN, click here.
Below, student correspondent Antonio Perez provides insights from his interview with Ms. Tom about the recycling program.
On December 20, I was given an opportunity to interview Ms. Tom and speak about the recycling program. I was surprised to learn that the program initially began because of students in a program which engages students with community relations. The students were able to pick the project, and not only did they decide on the recycling program but they also decided on how it was going to be run and how they were even going to get funding for the bins. The initial planning process was thought out in the 2016-2017 school year, and the program was rolled out in the 2017-2018 term to two classes per group. To ensure that the program would work, participants in the program created surveys for students to fill out on their thoughts about recycling. Students from Y-PLAN go around twice a week to collect from classes that they’ve been specifically assigned to and empty out the bins in the hallway, whereas the custodial staff collects paper waste.
Due to the abundance of plastic waste and pollution, the WHSAD recycling program attempts to clean up the environment and save the planet. To incentivize students to recycle more, teachers of classes with bins may give opportunities to students to gain extra credit for recycling or maybe even turning recycling into a fun game where you have to shoot plastic into the bins. As a community to help the program we should be sure to put stuff in the right bin, and if we as whole continue to properly remove our waste then the recycling program can be rolled out into more classes. If students throw waste that doesn’t belong in the bin into it, then it sets everything back as the custodians will not bring out “contaminated bins” on recycling day. One object has the possible effect of contaminating the whole bin, so please be sure to pay close attention to where not only you but your peers are throwing out waste.