Recycling to better environments


Photo Illustration by Hailey Eilert

Hannah Heger, Features Editor

Schools depend on students and faculty to keep the hallways and classrooms clean.

Lately many students at Manhattan High School have been throwing away food waste in the recycling bins the school provides. While throwing food waste into the recycling bin seems easy, it can cause many problems for the students and the school.

“The first reason would be that that creates a health hazard with rotten food being present in the hallways,” Clancey Livingston, science teacher, said. “The second reason is because as we had this week, that creates a breeding ground for fruit flies, which is its own separate health hazard. And also, those are a pain to get rid of.”

Along with causing health hazards food waste can also cause the school to be an unpleasant place to be.

“This is everyone’s school, the students and the staff, and when individual students misuse recycling or other facilities,” Livingston said. ”They’re degrading the environment that they’re in. They’re making the school less pleasant for themselves and for others.”

Effectively making sure that the school’s recycling bins are food waste free is a big commitment for the students and teachers.

“My first choice would just be to make students aware that the recycling bins are separate from the trash containers and what goes in one should not go in the other,” Livingston said. “The only option beyond that is finding a way to have someone sort the trash from the recycling, which is very messy and labor intensive.”

Previously dealing with students improper use of recycling, Livingston knows to teach students how to properly take care of food waste and recyclable materials.

“When students have put things in the recycling erroneously, in the past, I explain the difference between the recycling and the trash and have them move whatever they threw away to the correct container,” Livingston said

Teaching the next generation the impact and importance of recycling correctly and properly disposing the food waste we generate will not only help the environment, it can make a better place to live for future generations.

“Humans put an enormous amount of waste into the environment that should not be there and this is everyone’s environment that we all have to live with and that we all depend on,” Livingston said. “and and if one person degraded, it makes it worse for everyone.”