In an attempt to make an impact on the environment, Global Issues Network (GIN) installed new recycling trash bins throughout the school last month. However, these extensive measures taken by GIN have yet to yield positive results, creating more confusion and workload for custodians instead.
“The main problem we are facing is that a lot of people are not taking the initiative seriously,” said Cheryn Shin (10), recycling campaign leader. “Sometimes it feels like our efforts are meaningless because people think keeping our school clean is someone else’s problem, even though we are all part of the SIS community.”
Although the new recycling bins better differentiates the paper, plastic and can categories, many students are still not familiar with the specifics. After speaking with custodians and personally looking through the trash bins regularly, GIN members found that plastic bottles were found in paper bins and small plastic wrappers in plastics bin, irritating the custodians.
“The mistakes we make now will be passed on to future generations,” said Wonjai Lee (9), GIN member. “There are a lot of students who think they can do whatever they want, which only makes us seem spoiled. We should at least try to change our attitude, as it will not only improve the reputation of our school, but also save the world, no matter how small the steps we take are.”
This was also not the first attempt to promote recycling at SIS. In previous years, some categorized trash bins were placed in hallways but were not widely used by students who preferred to use trash bins in classrooms.
“Although I am not fully aware of previous attempts to campaign a school wide recycling program, I don’t think it was that successful as many people are unaware about it,” Sarah Kim (12) said. “I think the new orange bins are effective in that they are more accessible and noticeable to students. Thus, this ultimately acts as a constant reminder for students to recycle so I have actually seen students using the trash bins. If people are more confused, GIN can create posters around the school instead of just announcements.”
Regardless of the success of the current initiative, GIN plans to continue making changes in the future. According to Cheryn, the recycling committee has already begun planning to implement more interactive and inclusive measures for next year, as members recognize the importance of promoting environmentally friendly behavior.