Spartan Shield

Responsibility of recycling not taken seriously

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Responsibility of recycling not taken seriously

Recycling bins in the lunchroom are emptied into large containers outside and sent to the landfill across the Mississippi river.

Recycling bins in the lunchroom are emptied into large containers outside and sent to the landfill across the Mississippi river.

Trevor Glaum

Recycling bins in the lunchroom are emptied into large containers outside and sent to the landfill across the Mississippi river.

Trevor Glaum

Trevor Glaum

Recycling bins in the lunchroom are emptied into large containers outside and sent to the landfill across the Mississippi river.

Trevor Glaum, Business Manager

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Every day, hundreds of bottles, cans, and paper goods are thrown into the recycling bins found in the classrooms and hallways of Pleasant Valley High School. In an effort to protect the planet, Pleasant Valley claims to support recycling and caring for the earth.

PV has recycle bins located in the lunchroom for both plastics and metals. Every classroom is also equipped with a recycling bin for paper. “The bins in the lunchroom were donated years ago by a man who used to collect our recycling,” said Principal Mike Zimmer.

He volunteered his time to collect recycling from area high schools and transport it to the Scott County Recycling Center. Unfortunately, he does not collect recycling anymore, and since 2014, Pleasant Valley Community School District has failed to ensure the continuation of the recycling process.

The effect recycling has on the environment is still an area of research, but studies point to concerning results. Plastics that go in the landfill decompose over hundreds of years and are then broken into microplastics. Microplastic molecules are a continued area of research, but correlations have already been made to several health issues. The plastic molecules have been observed to contribute to high blood pressure, chromosomal abnormalities, and childhood obesity.

For years, students have heard circulating rumors that Pleasant Valley does not recycle, despite the classroom and hallway bins emptied each week. This March, Pleasant Valley’s dedication to a cleaner planet was called into question. A GPS location device was placed within a classroom recycling bin and traveled to the Republic Services Landfill in Cahokia, IL.

Recycling and trash collection is provided by Republic Services through a contract paid by the Pleasant Valley Community School District. While Zimmer doubts Republic’s consistency in recycling, no investigation has been made during their four years of service. “I’m not sure if they are really recycling it, or if it’s ending up in the landfill,” said Zimmer.

Zimmer believes students at Pleasant Valley do not take the time to put recyclables in the bins. “[Only] 10 to 12 percent of all recyclable materials actually are in the bins,” he guessed. This assumption is a concern of his, but is irrelevant if everything ends up in a landfill.

PVHS has a goal as stated in the Student/Parent Handbook: “All students will demonstrate the ability to be responsible citizens,” according to the Student/Parent Handbook. Having an example to follow would encourage students to prioritize waste management. Environmental consciousness is rapidly influencing our communities and culture, but Pleasant Valley has preferred to remain oblivious to the lack of recycling within the district.

About the Contributor
Trevor Glaum, Business Manager

Hi!  My name is Trevor Glaum and I am one of the business managers of the Spartan Shield Online.  I am a senior at PV and I enjoy running Cross Country....

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Responsibility of recycling not taken seriously