Environmental Science Class Starts Recycling Program

By Caroline Frost

Several of science teacher Erin Ashley’s environmental science students have launched a program to increase the number of recycling bins around Tam’s campus. According to an email sent to Tam staff members by Assistant Principal Wendy Stratton, several members of Ashley’s class contacted the Marin Conservation Corps (MCC) as part of a project in order to request donated recycling bins for the campus and help create a more prevalent recycling program at Tam.
Stratton’s email focused on the new program and students’ desire to have a more effective recycling program in place. “There has been an interest from both students and staff to improve our recycling program at Tam High,” Stratton wrote in her email. “I have collaborated with students, teachers and our custodians to create a sustainable outdoor recycling program.”
Ashley said her goal with this project is to increase recycling and divert trash from landfills. “As it is now, we have very little to no recycling [bins around campus],” Ashley said. “Our mission is to make it shared accountability and sustainability and it’s not just the teachers’ role in throwing out the recycling, but all of our role.”
According to Stratton’s email, five green recycling bins were donated by the MCC to be used around the campus. Each bin was accompanied by a temporary sticker indicating the appropriate waste materials that should be recycled rather than composted or placed in the trash.
Eventually, the five bins will have permanent signs on them made by teacher Geo Monley’s woodshop class. Tam’s custodial staff have agreed to empty the bins for the school.
Senior Hannah Saltonstall, a member of Ashley’s group, said she hopes the program breeds long-term results. “Recycling is something that has always been lacking at Tam….Students generate an enormous volume of trash, and much of it is recyclable,” Saltonstall said. “I think [this project] can benefit Tam because starting to care about recycling now, leads to educated adults who care enough to walk the extra [mile for] recycling.”