Millburn Middle School’s Recycling Program


Aarohi Kuthari

I have always seen kids in the school walking in the hallways with large recycling bins. They go into classes and empty the smaller recycling bins. I am positive that several of you have seen this, just like I have.

But have you ever wondered the details behind what gets recycled and what goes in the trash? In an interview with the DECO Peer Leader advisor, Mrs. Reilly, I learned more about the school’s recycling program.

What two Peer Leader groups are involved?

The school’s recycling program involves Mrs. Reilly’s 8th grade DECO Peer Leaders and Mrs. Freitag’s 7th grade TIGS Peer Leaders.

What parts of the school do each of the groups recycle on and during what period?

The DECO Peer Leaders take the 2nd and 3rd floor in the school. They recycle during Period 2, because that is the study hall for 8th graders. The TIGS Peer Leaders take the 1st floor and the Dungeon of the school. They recycle during Period 4, because that is the study hall for 7th graders.

How much time does it typically take the Peer Leaders to recycle?

It usually takes the Peer Leaders 15 to 20 minutes of their study hall to do the recycling. Although, several of the Peer Leaders have other school commitments, such as Band or Strings, so the time it takes depends on the number of Peer Leaders there and whether it is Day A or B, said Mrs. Reilly.

Do all of the school’s recyclables go into one large bin or are different recyclables separated into different bins?

The school’s recyclables are co-mingled, which means that all of the recyclables go into one bin instead of separate bins of cardboard and paper and another with metal and plastic. It is more expensive to separate the cardboard and paper and metal and plastic because machines are needed to separate these items and machines are expensive.

What does the school recycle?

The school recycles mixed paper, corrugated paper (cardboard), things without staples, cans, plastic bottles, and glass bottles. The recycling company comes in a truck and takes the big bin outside the school. They look in and see if there are any contaminated recyclables. If there are, then it becomes trash.

This last part is important. Because of the process, if things are not properly recycled, they then go into landfills and become trash!

Overall, the DECO and TIGS Peer Leaders work extremely hard to try and make our environment a better place.