Has The Idea Of Recycling Been Put In The Trash?

by Julianna C. & Sarah B.

Student Chef, a popular extracurricular course at Duxbury High School, gives students the opportunity to learn all about cooking and food preparation. 

Making efforts to minimize waste at Duxbury High School, student chef student, junior Hannah C, explained that the handling of leftover food depends on the situation. “We put the extra food in Breadboard and sometimes can take it home or throw it away,” she said. 

With all the food students work with, there is a guarantee that many dishes, utensils, and ingredients are used. In order to reduce the amount of plastic and food being thrown away, Hannah said the class uses metal and reusable utensils as well as compost bins to recycle.

However, not all sustainability practices at DHS are as transparent as this. After several emails and attempts to communicate with school faculty regarding the DHS recycling program and policy as a whole, only a minority of contacts responded, and even fewer had information to offer. 

Understandably, the end of the year is a busy time for students and staff alike, and it is especially demanding for those in charge of managing the smooth transition of the school year’s close. Yet the lack of a transparent answer to the question of recycling as well as the disagreement between teachers and students over whether recycling at the DHS is implemented is confusing at best.

Most classrooms have access to both a black trash bin and a blue recycling bin, and Principal Donovan explained that Duxbury employs a single-stream recycling policy at the school.

 “We have two dumpsters; one for recycling and one for trash. We kept all of our recycling bins when we moved buildings,” he said. “Instead of separating cans, bottles, and paper, it’s all single-stream.

Whether or not this process is implemented at DHS, most students and teachers agree that recycling is a necessary part of school policy. “Recycling is important; we should all aim to recycle more,” history and psychology teacher Mr. Aukerman said.

The debate over recycling may be inconclusive, but Duxbury High School’s building itself is known to have a green certification for engineering, and has been designed with sustainability in mind. 

“The most visible sign of that is the landscaping,” Principal Donovan said. “All the parking lot runoff heads into charging areas, and is managed through a series of pipes and pumps to get out into the bay.”

“Tucked in the weeds,” he adds, “you can see the pipes and culverts that move the water around.” Some of the most easily-spotted pipes in this system can be found near the Steele building by the bridge to the parking lot, Principal Donovan added.

Furthermore, the entire middle and high school roof as well as the Performing Arts Center is covered in solar panels. This generates energy for the lights and electricity used in the school buildings.

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