Does anyone at Webb recycle?


Emma Lin ('20)

A Webbie decides to recycle her trash instead of throwing it away.

Reduce. Reuse. Recycle. It is one of the most well-known phrases that everyone has repeated since elementary school, so why it is not being implemented in high school?

Although Webb has dozens of recycling bins throughout campus, they always seem to be filled with non-recyclable items such as gum, leftover food, and other miscellaneous trash. A great majority of students do not seem to really care about recycling nor do they have motivation to make a difference.

Akira Hori (‘20), the vice president of the junior class and an Alamo resident, said, “Honestly, I tried to recycle, but I’m just too lazy to seperate my bottles from my other trash. I think a lot of students are the same way. It’s bad, but that’s just the way it is.”

However, students should be more concerned with environmental issues, especially with the recent effects of climate change in California. Recycling is an easy solution to prevent such issues from getting out of hand. It is as simple as putting a plastic water bottle into a different bin.

Various clubs and classes such as Honors Global Societies & Sustainability and Honors Stories & Strategies of Entrepreneurs have attempted to understand why Webbies do not recycle.

First of all, there is an overwhelming amount of plastic bottles on campus. Not only do students purchase them on Target runs, but they can also access plastic bottles through the dorm vending machines at all hours. Students can easily resolve this problem by carrying a reusable water bottle.

Additionally, the dining hall offers paper plates, cups, and plastic cutlery for all meals. Although the disposable utensils are convenient for when students are in a rush or do not want to eat in the dining hall, they are not recyclable and create unnecessary waste. All items that come in contact with any form of food grease cannot be recycled.  

Lastly, students are constantly printing out essays and long readings for class, which creates a surplus in used paper, especially when there are mishaps with the printer.

Señor Javier Valera, Head of Macleod and Reynolds, has enforced recycling to receive funds for dorm activities and snacks. He said, “Recycling is helping nature by eliminating the trash that humans create. I think it’s a very easy process to separate trash and by rewarding the kids with things they enjoy, like In-N-Out, it sends a good message about recycling. It’s not really a big effort and the benefit comes back to you while doing a good favor to the Earth.”

While some students think that recycling is inconvenient and requires them to go out of their way, I believe that it is important to reset this mindset and emphasize that recycling should become the on-campus norm. Señor Valera’s approach at promoting recycling has proven to be extremely successful, but has not spread to the VWS dorms yet.

With collaboration and focus from various leadership groups, classes, and organizations, Webbies can grow to understand the benefits of helping the environment.

Keep an eye out for awareness posters made by the Environmental Club and the Honors Global Societies & Sustainability class. Don’t forget to recycle!