HELP: Let's Make Recycling More Effective in Kentucky Schools
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We all know that recycling is an effective alternative to landfills that helps our environment from accumulating even more trash pollution. Kentucky schools have done a great job at implementing programs, but we can and must do much better.
Why should you care about recycling?
Well, according to Kentucky’s Energy and Environment Cabinet’s Division of Waste Management, “Recycling in the U.S. is a $236-billion-a-year industry. Companies rely on recycling programs to provide the raw materials they need to make new products. The average American discards seven and one-half pounds of garbage every day. Most of this garbage goes into landfills, where it's compacted and buried. Recycling requires far less energy, uses fewer natural resources, and keeps waste from piling up in landfills. Recycling offers significant energy savings over manufacturing with virgin materials (for example, manufacturing with recycled aluminum cans uses 95 percent less energy). Recycling and buying recycled products creates demand for more recycled products, decreasing waste and helping our economy.”
As you can see, using and improving recycling programs in Kentucky schools doesn’t just make environmental sense- it also makes economic sense.
Right now, in most schools only paper is recycled- and only in classrooms. But there are so many other recyclable products that end up in landfills simply because the school programs don’t cover those locations or materials (The Kentucky Green and Healthy Schools Department).
One major location missing from most schools’ recycling programs is the cafeteria. Plastic bottles, milk cartons, recyclable food packaging, and food waste are all thrown away when they could be recycled. Schools could recycle so much more if they put paper, plastic, and compost bins in the cafeteria. According to the Municipal Government Toolkit, schools could team up with industries and donate or sell their recyclables to use in place of raw materials and they could be donating or selling their food waste to local agricultural practices to use as compost or feed for farm animals like pigs. And yet, many schools aren’t taking advantage of these opportunities that would positively benefit the schools financially and the environment locally and globally.
Trash pollution is so widespread and is extremely hazardous to local and global ecology. It is even effecting geology – anthropogenic waste plastic has been found in new layer of rock (The Geological Society of America)! This just shows how huge of an effect humans have on our environment and how badly we need to stop adding to the trash pollution all around the world. We need to teach our children to take care of the planet that sustains them- and we need to pay attention to that lesson ourselves.
We are asking local and state government representatives to help us with our mission to improve recycling programs at schools to make them more effective. Kentucky schools need governmental grants for new bins and help getting connected with local recycling establishments; they need help making those connections with businesses and bills that could help mobilize these efforts.
Please sign this petition and share it to help make recycling more effective in Kentucky schools!
"Energy and Environment Cabinet." Recycling | Recycling and Household Hazardous Waste Collection Programs. Division of Waste Management, 2016. Web. 24 Apr. 2017.
"Program Overview." Kentucky Green & Healthy Schools Program Overview. Kentucky Green & Healthy Schools, n.d. Web. 24 Apr. 2017.
"Municipal Government Toolkit." EPA. Environmental Protection Agency, 15 Sept. 2008. Web. 24 Apr. 2017.
Corcoran, Patricia L., Charles J. Moore, and Kelly Jazvac. "An Anthropogenic Marker Horizon in the Future Rock Record." GSA Today (2014): 4-8. Web.
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