Revamping Recycling

The Middle School has instituted a new policy to keep the campus greener.


Rissy Dalton

Eighth graders Ryan O’Neill (left) and Rigby Peckham empty their class recycling bins into the larger bins outside the Buc Café.

Last year, TBS really stepped it up as a school to recycle more, and Benjamin’s efforts paid off as it was recognized as a Green School of Excellence for the second consecutive year. Sponsored by the  Florida Atlantic University Pine Jog Environmental Education Center, the award is the highest given in the Green Schools Recognition Program. This year, though, the Middle School is changing it up a little. Instead of taking time out of lunch for one or two people in an advisory to go to every classroom and bring the recycling bins up to the concession stand, TBS is now having a few people from every class bring up the recycling to the concession stand at the end of the day during RAAP.

Middle School Science Department Chair Ms. Gabriele St. Martin helped streamline the new recycling program and said the new system is much more efficient.

“When students brought the recycling down at lunch last year, they only got the recycling of half of a day of paper and half of plastic, and at the end of the day, the cleaning crew would take it and it would not get recycled,” explained St. Martin. Now that we are doing it at the end of the day, we get the full day of recycling. We still have posters showing what goes in what bin and we have teachers standing outside for lunch to help if necessary.”

However, students see the new recycling policy as a way to get out of RAAP (Reading Advocacy Advisory Program), which allows students to read any novel they want in class during the last 20 minutes of school every day. However, Head of Middle School Mr. Charles Hagy contends that the teachers should be able to control that process.

“Yes, a lot of students are volunteering to bring down the recycling [during RAAP]” said Hagy. “And I have realized that, but the way I teach, I just say, ‘You do it today and you do it tomorrow,’ and it seems to work out really well. I absolutely think that this system is working and I am happy with the changes I see.”

The students seem to have mixed opinions about the new schedule. Eighth grader Dean Silvers does not like the new program as much as last year.

“I personally think that all students should read at the end of the day,” Silvers said. “I don’t really like the new recycling schedule because I usually have time at the end of lunch that could have been used for bringing up the recycling. I thinks kids should be able to go on adventures and escape into a good book.”

Although the sixth graders were not privy to last year’s method, some seem to have no issue with recycling during RAAP.

“I think bringing the recycling up at RAAP is easier,” said sixth grader Caden Quinn. “Some people don’t like to read and so I think RAAP is not only good to recycle, but people can get out of reading. I personally like to read, but I think it is a better schedule for the people who don’t like to read.”

Although there’s mixed feelings about the new system, the Middle School can at least guarantee that all of the bottles, paper, and compost are being recycled as the new schedule has students emptying the bins at the end of the day, not the middle. And while some students will sacrifice some RAAP time, the campus will be greener because of it.