North looks to South for recycling policies

By Denebola
Published: November 2008

By Alex Gershanov

In light of South’s newly passed recycling initiative, three Newton North juniors are attempting to start a similar program in their own school.

The juniors–Jen Liu, Carissa Chan, and Maia Levoy– plan on raising awareness and improving the efficiency with which North outputs recyclables.

“Right now we have two dumpsters for paper, Liu said. “Since the cafeteria workers don’t flatten the cardboard boxes that food comes in, the paper dumpsters fill up really quickly so that a lot of paper intended to be recycled ends up going in the trash.

In addition, North’s recycling bins have been disappearing so constantly that the city is reluctant to supply the school with more bins.

“The bins were not locked up over the summer and now there is not always a bin in each classroom, Levoy said.

Liu and her partners organized a recycling meeting at Newton North on November 24 to discuss several of their ideas. Angie Sottile of the Newton Public Works Department, Newton North Principal Jennifer Price, members of South’s Environmental Club, and students interested in helping the recycling cause attended.

“We hoped to use this opportunity to combine multiple projects into one effort to better our recycling system, Levoy said.

Liu and her partners first came upon the idea when searching for a topic for a yearlong research project assigned in their AP Biology class. They had initially set out to raise awareness about recycling in the community, but their teacher, Ann Dannenberg, suggested that they first deal with the issues at school.

“We chose recycling because we saw how flawed this system was in our school and wanted to help make it more efficient, Levoy said.

Dannenberg referred the three to South’s Environmental Club advisor Sally Rosen, who helped juniors and South Senate members Ben Chelmow and David Han pass South’s Recycling Initiative.

“We hoped to distribute responsibilities between students and custodial staff, and possibly even teachers as South has with the weekly bin-emptying procedure, Liu said

Like Chelmow and Han, Liu and her partners are also looking into ways to institute recycling of cans and bottles. Although North has two dumpsters for paper, it currently lacks a dumpster for bottles and cans.

Members of both schools are excited about the possibility of collaboration towards a mutual good.

“It’s exciting, Principal Brian Salzer said. “This is a student led initiative. The Senate should be very proud. And now to have somebody imitate their recycling plan¦ that’s wonderful.

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