“Canning” the recycling program

Blue recycling bins are in almost every classroom at MN. Although the bins seem to portray an environmentally positive school, this is not the whole truth. The 2,500+ students do not have the option of recycling at their school, and some are disappointed.

“We’re one of the best high schools in Nebraska, but we aren’t acting like plastic pollution is a big deal,” freshman Jacey McNemar said.

Students like McNemar often express their frustration through proven statistics. Plastic pollution is a problem. Unfortunately, this is not at the top of everyone’s list.

“At this time, [recycling] is not a priority for either MPS or MNHS,” principal Brian Begley said.

While many understand that administrators are busy with keeping the school safe and allowing students to focus, the lack of recycling in one of the largest schools in Nebraska can be infuriating. Around 79% of recyclable material ends up in landfills instead of being reused. Some of this is because not all buildings allow for recycling, while it is also people being misinformed.

“A lot of the students are not educated on what goes into the recycle bins. We need to teach how to do it before we can actually have a successful program,” environmental science teacher Meghan Evans said.

This has been seen by both students and teachers in the classrooms at MN. Many mistake bags and wrappers as recyclable material while others simply treat the recycling bins as trash cans, because that’s what they are. The deception of MN having this environmentally friendly option is coming to light at last, but it hasn’t always been this way.

“The recycling club did help with recycling years ago, and it was sponsored by a science teacher at one time,” Begley said .

With the environment not being a Millard North priority, the only solution seems to be the students. A new, dedicated recycling club needs to be made by the students in order for anything to work.

As  Evans said, “The more awareness we raise as a student body, the more we will do as a school to promote environmental awareness.”