What You May Not Know About Recycling At School

When it comes to recycling on campus, you may be surprised to find out that you can do more harm than good. Here’s how to properly do your part and recycle your waste at school, according to Lady Green Recycling workers and Dean of Students Tyrone Sandaal. Video by Video by Mia Carrasco, Eduardo Fernandes Kingston, Paulino Mercenari, and Ainsley Kling. Reporting by Kathleen Lewis.


As we try to do our part by recycling, most of us don’t realize that we are actually contaminating the recycling bins. Bins installed throughout the school are only designed for recyclable materials like paper, plastic, and aluminum — but when other materials like food are put into the mix, it disrupts the whole process.

“We do always find some contamination,” said Lady Green Recycling worker Michelle Salas. “But when we do, we try to sort it as much as we can and throw that away, and keep whatever is clean.”

So where should our trash really go?

“The first thing is to pay attention to where you’re putting what,” advised Dean of Students Tyrone Sandaal. “If there’s a hole in the top, don’t put food in there. Be mindful of that.”

But when it comes to anything else…

“When in doubt, throw it out,” Salas says.

So next time you’re about to toss your lunch leftovers, take a second to make sure they’re going to the right place. It will make your recycling workers’ jobs easier and lower your carbon footprint. Pay attention to the signs and do your part. This is Katie Lewis, reporting for The Raider Voice.