Of course not many people consider the life cycle of a piece of trash, even though what happens to the waste we produce seriously impacts our environment.
Just like schools across the country, San Marcos is the home to hundreds of students that produce waste. But here at our high school, we’re reusing items that otherwise couldn’t be recycled through an innovative partnership.
The majority of trash we throw away is moved to landfills, where trash is simply buried after years and years of being piled up. Most items in landfills do not break down easily, and sometimes harmful emissions result from the incineration of trash.
The act of recycling is becoming increasingly common as people are beginning to recognize the fact that resources are not unlimited, and that recycling and reusing things like glass, aluminum, paper, and plastic can make a huge difference.
Although recycling is fantastic, not everything can be thrown in the recycling bin to be reused. That’s where TerraCycle comes in.
By creating national recycling systems for otherwise non-recyclable waste, TerraCycle’s purpose is to convert waste into a variety of materials and products. Whether things pens, candy wrappers, chip bags, gum packs, or plastic bags, TerraCycle can use collected items to make products ranging from backpacks to park benches.
San Marcos High has partnered with Terracycle and all of the items that students at San Marcos throw away that would otherwise be polluting our planet in landfills can be reused to avoid using more resources than necessary. In addition to paying for the shipment of waste collections, TerraCycle will pay a small amount to San Marcos for the items we send.
To encourage students to contribute to this program, the San Marcos Earth Club has offered several incentives to the third period class that can turn in the largest amount of items. By taking an extra moment to dispose of selected items into a TerraCycle collection bag in each classroom, students are actively promoting the reuse of important resources.
Caroline David is a Junior at San Marcos High School and will be next year’s Earth Club president. She is also involved in NHS, writes for her school’s newspaper, and her interests include surfing, horseback riding, playing the ukulele, art, and competitive yo-yo-ing.
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