Hills is Now Recycling Again


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Beginning last year, rumors were circling the school about whether or not Hills was actually recycling. In fact, these rumors inspired the Environmental Club to investigate the situation, to see whether or not the school’s recycling efforts were being carried out by the company that they had a contract with.


Illegally, Miele Sanitation Company was not following through with their promises to our school, nor with their promises to others, and were failing to separate common trash from recyclables.


The Environmental Club’s investigation into the situation was a lengthy process. They interviewed custodians, the head of building maintenance, and administration. The club checked the school’s dumpsters to see whether or not recyclables and trash were separated and viewed video footage of the school’s trash collector, revealing that they mix recyclables and trash when dumping them into a single truck.


After seeing that there was a problem, the next step was to write a letter to the superintendent of the school district, Mr. Gunderson. He and the Environmental club later discussed the matter, and Mr. Gundersen presented this information to the Board of Education.


They agreed to end the school’s contract with the business and find a new company to properly collect all of the school’s recyclables and trash separately.


Now, Hills has switched to a different sanitation company. The school and Environmental Club have observed the company, so that Hills students and staff can be certain that we are recycling. They have made sure that the company comes for the trash and recyclables at separate times.


Gabriel Broadman, a junior at Hills and a devoted member of the Environmental Club, emphasized that recycling at hills is a team effort. “We need student, teacher, and janitor participation. If any of these people don’t help, the system will fall apart,” he said.


Broadman also shared his opinion on the issue of recycling and how he thinks the incident reflects on the school.


“It’s upsetting that the school hadn’t done this sooner, but progress is still being made.  I want to see a cultural change with recycling, I want to see people enthusiastic about it,” Broadman states.


Recycling makes a huge impact on our environment. Not only does recycling help our planet by conserving resources and lessening the amount of waste in landfills, but it also creates jobs. Hills students and staff can certainly feel good about recycling now, and know that they have an effect on their environment.


Mr. Shields, staff advisor of the Environmental Club and Hills science teacher, further explained the next steps to be taken.


“The challenge going forward is to get the people in the building to recycle correctly. So, this year’s major project for the club is to educate students and faculty about how to correctly separate trash from recycling and to get the building doing it the right way on our end,” Shields reflects.