Last week, Science teacher Katri Jackson took her AP Environmental Science class to the Recycling Center in Keene to see where our waste ends up. She writes:
“It was really interesting to see how all of the recycling was sorted, and to learn about where it goes text. We found out that a lot more could be recycled than we were already doing, including wet paper towels, and that we could bring compostable items to Keene.
All of the students have been working on recycling related projects this trimester. One group successfully changed the type of paper used in the copy machines and printers at school to a 30% post consumer waste, rather than paper made exclusively from trees, which we had been using. Another group is focusing on trying to reduce the use of disposable water bottles on campus. They did a taste test of various bottled water, as well as Dublin's tap water.
This group is also working on promoting the purchase and use of reusable water bottles, and they have filmed a commercial to share with the community to promote Dublin's water bottles for sale in the school store. A group is working on education and promotion of printing double sided at Dublin. They made a presentation to the faculty about the importance of printing double-sided and a tutorial on how to do it for those who are not sure. They will be making a similar presentation to the students this week. One group is organizing an inter-dorm competition to try to promote recycling in the dorms; we will have a contest when we return from break to see which dorm can reduce the amount of trash that they produce, by weight, and there will be prizes. Another group has been working with the dining room to see what can be done to improve sustainability, and have begun a pilot program to begin collecting compost materials including napkins and coffee grounds, which can not go into the food waste bin we already send to the pig farm, these materials will be brought to the Keene recycling center for now, and hopefully we will begin composting on Dublin's campus in the future. Some groups are working on recycling awareness around campus, to help to remind students of what can be recycled and why we should recycle.
The main goal of all of these projects is to help bring sustainability and recycling efforts more to the front of everyone's mind, so that more material is recycled and we are contributing less to solid waste disposal. Not only do we hope to reduce the school's solid waste, but we hope to save the school money, as it costs more than $200 each time the dumpster is picked up and emptied! However, it does not cost the school anything to recycle.” Of the field trip, Tu Qian ’12 said: “It was awesome! Before visiting there, I would never have imaged the people at the Recycling Center could be so clever and efficient!”