Reduce, Reuse, Recycle
By Monica Lepper
Americans produce 154 million tons of garbage a year. This is enough to fill the New Orleans Superdome, top to bottom 2 times a day, 365 days a year. This garbage goes to landfills where it takes millions of years for everything to decompose. Dr. Mary Mullen says, “A healthy earth equals a healthy you.” Stop wasting and start recycling. Recycling does not only reduce the amount of garbage in landfills, it can actually help people to live a healthier life with less waste in it. Seton recycles all year long. Throughout the halls, there are bins for different types of recycling.
Popularly recycled items include energy bar wrappers, snack bags, juice pouches, lunch kits, tooth care packaging, diaper packaging, scotch tape, ink and toner cartridges, candy wrappers, dairy packaging, Solo cups, personal care packaging, and cleaning packaging, writing instruments and cell phones and electronics as well.
In the cafeteria there are many different places to put each of the items listed above; to recycle, you just need to place your recyclable waste in the corresponding bin, box or garbage can. Seton’s earnings go to the eco club contest prizes: plants for outside of the building and for the new picnic tables and benches set up at the beginning of this 2013-2014 school year.
Every item recycled earns Seton about two cents when brought to TerraCycle. Chip bags, candy wrappers, granola bars cookie packaging can all go into marked box Solo cups, dairy containers, yogurt containers all go into a specially marked container. Bottles and cans go into special bags as well. The paper Seton collects is collected from Abitibi paper retriever, and then Seton receives compensation back. Some ink jet and toner cartridges are recycled to TeraCycle and then go to Cartridges For Kids (CFK); depending on the conditions of the ink jet and toner cartridges is how TerraCycle and CFK decide how much money Seton receives in return. Seton received $37.36 for items turned into Terra Cycle when Seton last sent in the items listed below as of October 8. This was from 403 Solo cups ($8.06), 200 Dairy tubs ($4.00), and 14 pounds of Granola/Energy bar wrappers ($25.30).
Besides the aforementioned items, Seton also collects pop tabs and sends them to the Ronald McDonald House. Last year Seton collected 70 pounds of pop tabs. National Recycle day is actually today, November 15 and the Ronald McDonald house is getting a bonus of 25% on all of the tabs brought in today. Seton just had a candy wrapper contest and the top four homerooms that won the breakfast prize are Ms. Courtney Gilday’s with a total of .75 of a pound, Ms. Metz’s with 1.34 pounds, Mr. Brauch’s with 1.16 pounds and Mr. Green’s brought in 1.41 pounds of candy wrappers, making his homeroom the overall winner. Grade 9 came in first place, grade 10 in second place, grade 11 in third, and grade 12 in last. Come on Seton, start recycling – especially seniors.