During the month of October of the 2017-2018 school year, Bonita Vista High staff, faculty and administration have been working to add plastic/glass/can recycling containers to all classrooms on campus in need of them. Although some rooms have had beverage container recycling for many years, other classrooms only had paper recycling bins which are continually being worked on to be solved.
“We have had beverage recycling bins, we use the blue, black, beige containers, and/or a classroom teacher-selected container. They should all be labeled for recycling. I realize that they may not all be labeled and [we] will be working on labeling all our containers and acquiring new ones for the remaining classrooms,” Special Education teacher for young adults with moderate to severe disabilities, Rosa Ovalle said.
Many faculty at BVH have taken part in the multiple recycling programs that have been taking place over the course of many years. The purpose of the recycling varies among the staff.
“The decisions [to distribute recycling bins] were made long ago before I started working here. I offered to help because I could use it to provide vocational training to my students. I eventually took the task over and became responsible for paper recycling campus-wide,” transition teacher Rhonda Addington said.
Recycling bins for beverage containers have been present in certain classrooms for many years, but lacking in other classrooms for the same many years. The process currently occurring is focusing on making this beverage container recycling bins prominent and abundant throughout the school.
“[BVH] has done plastic for all 14 years [that I have worked here] in my classroom- [however] not all classrooms did it,” teacher and original supervisor of the paper recycling program at BVH, Michelle Mardahl-Dumesnil said.
Part of the reason recycling is present at BVH is because it is a requirement that the Sweetwater Union District has put forth.
“There are statewide and city mandates that require recycling. The district has to follow the state and city recycling requirements and so do we,” Ovalle said.
Often, paper recycling bins end up with non-recyclable material due to materials other than paper being placed in them. BVH wishes to prevent this as it is not helpful in recycling efforts.
“We try to have a separate beverage container recycling bin in every classroom to lessen the contamination/soiling of recyclable materials to make a bigger impact on lessening the number of items that go to the landfill. The items are collected, sorted, emptied, [we] make sure items are dry, clean, and hauled to a recycling center,” Ovalle said.
Addington is supportive of this process that is being undergone because, according to her, it will help not only BVH but the whole world.
“I know it’s work, but in the long run, the payoff is priceless. I stand up and support recycling of all kind in the name of our planet,” Addington said.
As of now, BVH is waiting upon the City of Chula Vista and Republic Services, which provide recycling services and waste disposal for homes and businesses across the United States, for a response to their message about gaining more recycling bins.
“Most classrooms have at least one recycling bin. The school budget for recycling bins has been exhausted so the ASB and I have contacted Republic Services and the City of Chula Vista in an effort to receive recycling containers for the school and we are waiting for their response,” Ovalle said.
According to Addington, there are many issues concerning the paper recycling systems due to different causes such as neglect or disregard by BVH students and staff. She wishes to see positive changes made to help these problems among both staff and students.
“I would like to see more staff and students make a conscious effort to recycle paper. Sometimes I see a trashcan full of recyclables when there is a [recycling] container right next to it,” Addington said.