Going green is in style, from countries beginning to monitor their carbon footprint, to an increase of recycling throughout the U.S. And the school isn’t about to be left behind.
Last November, Junior Samantha “Sami” Koire helped the school increase its recycling by starting Rio Recycles and placing bins around the campus. The designated bins are out to help students recycle bottles and cans to help the environment.
The school “has 10 bins around campus… all along the outside of the campus, in the hall, and in the quad,” she said.
There is another incentive for the school to go green.
“On every beverage can, there is something called CRV,” Koire said. “And when you buy it, there’s an extra fee that comes along with it and when you turn it in and redeem it, you get that value back. That’s how I earn money from the beverage recycling, such as water bottles, soda cans, and anything like that.”
Ever since last year, Koire noticed that other beverage recycling bins were not being used effectively at the school. Since Koire had been recycling at home to earn extra spending money, she knew that it would be an effective way to earn money on a larger scale.
California gives 5 cents for a beverage container under 24 ounces and 10 cents for a container 24 ounces or greater. Still, in its first seven months, Rio Recycles raised close to $500.
“Each month I donate money that’s earned [from the recycling project]to a different program on the school campus, like RABB, Student Government, PTSA, RAAB, RASB, Theater, and Civitas,” Koire said.
Each of these programs are an important part of the school, and recycling helps maintain these valuable school programs, she said.
“These programs are really valuable, but they aren’t necessarily funded the way everyone would like them to be,” Koire said. “That’s my way of contributing to the school.”
Setting bins around school and earning money sounds pretty easy, but there are still some difficulties.
“The biggest problem with the program is that it depends on student compliance. So, if people don’t put their bottles in the bins, it can’t make that much money,” Koire said.
Because bottles and cans aren’t worth much money, it’s important for Koire to have quantity, she said. The project really needs each student to participate to help the school.
“Through the last school year, there was a dramatic increase in use, and I’m hoping that this school year it will be the thing to do,” Koire said.
Koire hopes to double the her efforts this year with increased awareness, compliance, and the addition of a Rio Recycles club in which members can participate as well as earn community service hours for Key Club and Civitas.