• 32°

Dumpster dive proves need for recycling

A group of George Rogers Clark High School students volunteered their time Tuesday to dig through trash for a good cause.

Volunteers from the school’s Student Technology Leadership Program (STLP) and JROTC students spent time after school sorting recyclable materials from the school’s garbage cans.

By the end of the “Dumpster Dive” event, the students had sorted through about 10 bags of trash. A community volunteer with the Winchester Inspired by Nature (WIN) group was also there to help the students sort through the trash.

Out of the bags of trash the students went through, about a third was recyclable.

And, as STLP advisor and GRC media specialist Connie Cobb noted, the project proves there needs to be more recycling initiatives at the school.

But those initiatives also need to be extended into communities across the globe.

According to “Naturally Connected,” a blog operated by the Kentucky Energy and Environment Cabinet, more than 4 million Kentuckians produce varying amounts of waste each day. And that waste has to go somewhere.

In logical terms, the more waste we recycle, the less waste we throw away, meaning less of that waste ends up in landfills, in our streams, or littered along our roadways.

While there are conventional ways to recycle — sorting your paper, glass and plastics — there are other ways to help the environment in terms of waste management.

We all probably remember the old saying, “Reuse. Reduce. Recycle.”

STLP students have been putting the recycle and reuse steps into practice by saving plastic bottle caps that were ground and used to make a bench for the school. They are working to collect more to make a table to match.

We challenge our community to think of ways to reduce your waste impact. Small steps are better than nothing.

Consider using a canteen or tumbler-style cup instead of plastic water bottle or styrofoam take-away cups. Carry a metal straw with you. Keep silverware at work and turn down offers for plastic utensils when grabbing lunch on-the-go.

Recycle this newspaper. There are many great uses for old newspapers, like lining garden beds.

Use both sides of copy paper, even if that means cutting it into smaller squares to be used for notes or grocery lists. Let your children use the clean side for art projects.

Collect your aluminum cans and take them a facility to be crushed, and you could make some cash back.

Maybe even, consider using those tall Ale-8-One bottles that can be recycled.

There are plenty of other ways to reduce your impact beyond the blue bin at the curb.

If we all make small changes, the positive impact could be huge.