Kent News

Op-Ed: The Mixed Bag of Recycling at Kent

Natasha Chiu, Campus News Reporter

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In a world where environmental issues are becoming increasingly prominent, Kent School is taking action aimed at building a more sustainable future. Most students are aware of the yearly Green Cup Challenge, that challenges dorms to conserve energy in a competition for prizes. On an institutional level, Kent has taken many more measures to reduce our carbon footprint. 

Through an 18-month project, Kent has been replacing fluorescent light bulbs with LED lights in classrooms, which are twice as effective and save energy. Renewable energy is also being continually generated on-site via the solar panels on the Nadal Hockey rink. This has all resulted in reducing electricity consumption year after year.

The effectively disposal of food waste is also a large part of being environmentally sustainable; here we have made some strides but could do more. During formal dinners, trash is closely monitored to separate leftover food  from other waste, so that in turn the food can be sent to pig farms to be consumed. Yet,this practice has yet to be implemented on a regular basis. “The cafeteria style lacks staffing to achieve the same effect. If plastic forks and spoons are overlooked in the trash, this could be harmful to the feeding pigs,” explains Mr Klingebiel.

The recycling program, also an area where the school as a whole could make some progress, is hidden from most people, as it takes place in the maintenance shed. There Mr. North works personally to sort different materials like paper, plastics and electronics. However, this is far from a perfect system, as whenever recyclable materials are contaminated with liquids or food they must be thrown out, largely reducing the amount of the recyclable boxes and bottles.

 

“We try to encourage students to recycle by putting visible recycling bins all over campus,” comments Mr Klingebiel, but wide-scale recycling in dorms is dependent on the incentives of students themselves. Lastly, much more can be done to expose students to pressing environmental concerns and spread awareness of the good environmental practices so that the we can build on the progress we have made to make Kent’s campus eco-friendly.

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Op-Ed: The Mixed Bag of Recycling at Kent