Dumpster Diving in the Eco Club?

Dumpster Diving in the Eco Club?

Gracie Donnell, Writer

The Eco Club has been taking action towards creating a more mindful, and eco-friendly space at York High School. Recently the Eco Club has started to collect trash from a variety of locations in the school. They dumped each trash out, and sorted through what was able to be recycled, composted, and what was identified as trash. The lunch rooms, art rooms, and bathrooms were three of the focuses with this project.

For the lunch rooms, the Eco Club looked at one measured bag. There ended up being 9.8 pounds of compost (many milk

Eco club members from left: Ella Patterson, Hayden Cummings, Gracie Donnell, Abby Dickson, and Natalie Dickson

containers), 3.4 pounds of recyclables, and 1.2 pounds of trash (many plastic salad containers, fry containers, and light plastic). The most common items thrown away were water, chip bags, and salad containers. Considering this was just one trash can out of 15 in the commons, means high school students produce a lot of waste. 

In the art rooms there was 1.6 pounds of trash, one bag of recyclables. The most prevalent waste items in the art room were paper towels and plastic coffee cups. There are a total of six trash cans in the art wing.

For the bathroom, one bag of trash was measured. All of this waste ended up being solid wet paper towels, which totaled to 1.6 pounds. There are a total of 32 bathroom trash cans around the school, creating a large amount of waste.

The waste found raises the question of what eco-friendly alternatives are possible in order to create less waste? In both the art wing and bathrooms there appears to be a large quantity of paper towels being used. Possible alternatives to paper towels could include: the paper towels being composted, or the air dryers in the bathroom being turned on again. In terms of the plastic salad containers, there are a lot being used. To combat this, the plastic reduction subcommittee is taking action to end the use of these containers at YHS.

In addition, the plastic reduction subcommittee has been making many positive changes in YHSl in order to help the earth. Members Maxine Adelson, Lucy Patterson, Chloe Whitbread, and Aidan Ring have submitted an application to the York Sustainability Fund in order to obtain reusable materials for the cafeteria. This could include clam shells as well as grant money in hopes of having plastic-free options at YHS. Great work plastic reduction team!