Manhattan High should prioritize paying for recycling

Taryn Robinson, Opinions Editor

For several years Manhattan High’s recycling program has been paid for by clubs. 

The now defunct Manhattan Environmental Club used to do it alone, but soon realized it was becoming expensive, so other clubs joined in to help pay. This is like if you were to go to a restaurant and the bill included heat and electricity costs with it. That makes no sense, and neither does clubs having to pay for recycling.

It is the agreement of The Mentor editorial board that recycling should not be paid for by clubs or students, it should be the responsibility of Manhattan High. 

The school does have other expenses like: construction, keeping the school more sanitary than ever before and technology for everyone to have, onsite and offsite. They surely can add the recycling bill to that list. It is just as important as all of the other expenses.

According to an email sent out by Clancey Livingston back in January, the cost for recycling between East and West campus is about $850 each year. With no official club for recycling, garden cleaning and composting this year, all of those costs fall on Livingston and the clubs at Manhattan High.

In the past, Livingston has paid out of his own pocket for materials such as new recycling bins in classrooms. While using personal finances to pay for supplies is not uncommon among teachers, besides monetary help from other clubs, Livingston will be on his own this year.

In our previous editorial discussion on whether the school should pay for recycling, MEC mentioned that club membership covers the dues of recycling. The original goals of MEC was to find ways for Manhattan High to become more involved in environmental areas beyond the basics of recycling, such as electricity and water usage. Instead, their focus was on funding recycling. The cause of a now nonexistent environmental club could be argued as directly related to these dues. It is unfair for a club to deteriorate because of the school’s lack of involvement in helping cover the costs of recycling. 

While students may want to help the school pay for recycling, it shouldn’t be their job to do so. The school budget should prioritize recycling rather than leave the students the burden of covering the recycling program