Think about this: on average, a teacher has four classes a day with 33 students per class, and each student receives 10 worksheets each month. That equals 1,320 pieces of paper for just one teacher. For a school with 50 teachers, that comes to 66,000 pieces of paper a month, and 594,000 pieces of paper a year.
It has become so easy for teachers to photocopy everything without thinking about the end result — where will all that paper end up? Esperanza High School decided to address this issue by implementing a school-wide recycling program.
J.R. Cusick, a math and yearbook instructor, asked the staff at EHS asking if they would be interested in having recycling bins placed in their classrooms. The response was overwhelmingly positive. While many teachers were already doing some type of in-class recycling (often with a do-it-yourself recycle box), the school had no established means by which all teachers, staff and students could participate.
The first step was to coordinate with Joe Rivera, head custodian at Esperanza, and his staff to work out the logistics of collecting the recycled material. The school already had a contract with Anaheim Disposal to pick up recycled material, and his staff was already picking up recyclables from a handful of teachers. There were no significant concerns about how the custodial staff would empty the classroom containers on a regular basis. Next, staff needed to determine how many classroom containers and outside receptacles would be needed, and where they would be located. Lastly, the purchasing team assisted by procuring various bids, and then putting a representative from Glasby Maintenance Supply Co. in touch with Esperanza Principal Ken Fox and J.R. for final approval of the containers.
This coming January, each classroom will have a paper and/or cans and bottles recycling container, in addition to over 20 outside recycling receptacles around the main and west campuses.
Hopefully ,the presence of these containers will remind us to utilize our resources more carefully, and make all those single-sided worksheets into double-sided copies.