In the United States, only 5% of recyclable plastic waste has been sent to recycling plants. From plastic to cardboard, millions of tons of recyclables are sent to landfills every year. Erin Frye, the Environmental Systems and Societies teacher at Baltimore City College, contributes to the Baltimore City College community as the head of the Recycling Club. As both a teacher and leader of this club, she has a unique perspective about these issues.
She notes that the main issue is a lack of education about what can and cannot be recycled. She states, “I think that the biggest thing is education on how to properly recycle: knowing what to do, and how to throw it away, and being conscious of every material being thrown away.”
At Baltimore City College, the Recycling club has tried to combat misinformation. There are signs posted above every recycling bin about what can and cannot be recycled. More still needs to be done in terms of education about the recycling process and recyclable materials.
She notes that teachers can also monitor their recycling bins, though this is difficult to do along with the other responsibilities of being a teacher. It can be burdensome for teachers, but she states that if teachers can “monitor what is happening near their recycling bins: breaking down boxes, and taking things out that they notice shouldn’t be in there,” Baltimore City College could have an even greater positive effect on the environment.
A few of the best ways to reduce emissions are through joint transportation and eating less meat. Even though it isn’t always accessible to use public transportation or carpool with others, “eating less meat products, especially red meat and pork products” can immensely impact your individual carbon footprint.