Is the Blue Bin Really Green?

By Phoenix Cloutier

Recycling is one of the most basic practices preached by environmentalists, and for good reason. In 2016 alone, the Department of Energy recycled 230 tons of waste that would have otherwise ended up in landfills. Because of this, the government saved $13,800 which can now be used in other areas. There is seemingly no reason to throw recyclables into the trash. However, at Edmonds Woodway, there is no difference between putting something in the garbage or the recycle. An anonymous faculty member stated, “I really don’t think that we recycle here. It’s something I’ve heard from staff members and students alike”. Another said, “While I wouldn’t completely confirm or deny the effectiveness or existence of the recycling, I would say that I am inclined to believe that either Edmonds Woodway doesn’t recycle all recyclables or we plain just don’t recycle at all,”. There seems to be an overarching consensus among the students and staff who commented. Beyond this single issue lies a larger discussion about the environmental impact of our school and its practices. In a discussion with Mr. Mims, he said, “I have worked at many schools and Edmonds Woodway is not the most conscious school when it comes to this issue”. He went on to iterate that many other institutions have compost programs, and even more than one bin to sort paper, bottles, and so on.

In the heart of the Pacific Northwest, where many people drive hybrids and fully electric cars, and where Jay Inslee’s presidential campaign has a large focus on environmental issues, how can we still not even be reducing, reusing, and recycling properly?

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