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Recycling options for students open up

Entering a partnership, the City of Columbia and Columbia Public Schools (CPS) hopes to decrease waste and cost by a new recycling program implemented Sept. 26. This includes a larger mixed recycle, large paper bins and compost bins in the eating areas of each CPS school.

Students interested in participating can talk to senior Hope Keithahn or honors biology teacher Andrew Kinslow.

Currently, the only recycling receptacles at RBHS are the blue recycling bins in classrooms. There are also small plastic recycle carts and paper recycling bin by the loading dock on the south side of the building. 

Several teachers including David Graham, Melissa Wessel and Kinslow are coordinating with organizations such as Environmental Coalition to find help to take care of these recycling bins.

“As a whole, we can make our school look a lot better and taking a little ownership will go a long way.”

Andrew Kinslow

Kory Kauffman, former RBHS physics teacher, corralled people into helping empty out recycle bins last year. After Kauffman’s retirement, Kinslow took the leadership role of doing what Kauffman did for years: spreading education for environmental protection.

“So what you can expect to see rolling out this month [for recycling] in the food areas,” Kinslow said. “You’ll have paper, mixed plastic, metals, compost and trash for the landfill.”

Students such as junior Amya Carson are willing to volunteer effort to help empty the bins or do other necessary work.

“I would do as much as I possibly could to help with this.” Carson said. “Obviously I can’t help every day, but I care about our school being clean and I care about our environment so I’m going to help as much as I can.” 

Some, however, don’t particularly see the value in the new composting bins and view the process as a hassle that won’t see tangible results. Junior Claire Pistono doesn’t believe she will use the new kinds of recycling.

“I usually only recycle paper and my Kickstart cans,” Pistono said, “so it’s not super important to me that we recycle a ton more.”

Kinslow, unlike Pistono, believes in the need to expand recycling. Not only are RBHS students planning to recycle more but, he says, it is also up to students to help keep the bins clean.

“Recycling is not on the janitors,” Kinslow said. “They already have enough tasks they have to do every day. If we want to do this, we have to make the volunteer and group effort or it won’t work.”

The key for this to all work are volunteer efforts and the vigilance of the student population.

“We need students to take ownership of ‘oh no this can be recycling’ and taking care of playing an active role in this,” Kinslow said. “As a whole, we can make our school look a lot better and taking a little ownership will go a long way.”

What do you think about the new recycling program? Let us know in the comments below.

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