Recycling at Morgan: A Cycle of Controversy


Science teacher, Colleen Whittle proudly holding her recycling bin

Written by Emma Iovene
Photos by Emma Iovene

At the Morgan School, recycling has been a problem for the past few years.  According to the Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection, “Connecticut has a goal of recovering 58% of our municipal solid waste through waste reduction, reuse, recycling, and composting by 2024.” 

In Connecticut, it’s mandatory to recycle magazines, paper bags, junk mail, phone books, aluminum (cans), metal cans/containers, office paper, cardboard (flattened), paperboard, glass bottles and jars, newspapers, and plastic containers. Without a recycling program at Morgan, we cannot achieve that goal.  By recycling these items, the Morgan School would be supporting the environmental club and their ambition to help the earth with the reduction of waste. 

So, how can Morgan help promote recycling?

Freshman Mya Yetso
Freshman Mya Yetso

Freshman Mya Yetso shares her ideas that, “the school should put signs up, and there should be more bins throughout the school.” This would give students and faculty the option to recycle because right now most of the classrooms only have trash bins. The Environmental Club is working to distribute bins to classrooms and to provide centrally located recyclable collection bins. 

According to the advisor of the environmental club and Biology teacher Emily Lisy, “Students can recycle in the lower hub in designated containers as well as in some teachers’ rooms.” There are only three “cans only” recycling bins in the lower hub, one located in the corner next to the lower entrance walk-in, another in the middle of the booths, and one by the vending machine across the lunch room. 

There are many benefits to recycling. Ms. Lisy mentioned how “It helps the environment because it puts less of a strain on our natural resources.  It keeps pollution out of our oceans and out of the landfills. Recycling causes less pollution of our air and waterways, as well as saves energy.”

Science teacher, Colleen Whittle proudly holding her recycling bin
Earth Science teacher, Colleen Whittle proudly holding her recycling bin

Teachers can recycle in their classroom, but they need to ask for a bin in their room. Teachers are responsible for taking their recycling bins to the three main locations in the school: the faculty room, copy room, and learning commons to empty the recyclable materials. The environmental club distributed the guidelines for single stream recycling. Earth Science teacher Colleen Whittle mentions how “it’s difficult to bring our recycling to one of the stations because bins in some rooms” have trash thrown in them still.

Students and teachers can help by throwing only recyclable materials in the recycle containers. Paper, bottles, and cans should be thrown in the recycle bins. Anything with food on it and styrofoam should be thrown in the garbage cans.