Monday, October 29, 2007

What ever happened to recycling?

We all remember recycling back in elementary school, for some of us even in middle school. The recycling lessons once a year, the recycling games and worksheets. It was almost intrinsic in us to recycle, inculcated into us. It was the right thing to do, and we all knew it! But recycling is the last thing to pass by in our heads in school now, even as we stand over the garbage bins.

High schools hardly make an effort to have us recycle, it seems. This may be mostly because of the fact that the DOE and all its schools get no penalty for violating NYC recycling laws and at the high school level DOE feels it has done all it can to instill recycling into us, a vital habit in our climate changing world.

Some teachers say that they have kids recycle in classrooms but papers and garbage get mixed up by the time they get out on the sidewalk. Furthermore, the DOE has to central code for recycling but leaves it up to every school to do as the wish. As one teacher pointed out, as long as there are no penalties, recycling isn't a priority.

The good news is the DOE has new recycling standards inplemented in its administrative offices and hopes to expand those standards to schools soon. But as your colleague, I can see when it comes down to it, recycling is up to us. It is the right thing to do, and we all know it! Lets not forget the bigger things in life (that low test grade wont affect your health 10 years from now) but not recycling might.

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