GHS Cafeteria Feng Shui – by Emily Shooltz (12)

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Recycling? Metal silverware? Sorting? This is all new to the majority of Grandville High School students and staff. This year Grandville High School’s cafeteria got an all new look, recycling stations, reusable silverware and trash tables. Mr. Kevin Randall, a teacher and advisor of The Green Team started on his long awaited plan of turning GHS into a greener place by building the tables himself and purchasing the metal forks and spoons with a grant. This enormous project took a lot of effort and money from the Green Team, but the outcome isn’t what they expected.

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(Craig GHS custodian)

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In an interview with three of the custodial staff only one of the three think that our new recycling routine is effective. When I asked them to describe their experience they all thought that the idea of it is great, but is it working? The custodians claim much of the contents put into the recycling bins are not being recycled, but instead are tossed into the garbage due to student’s lack of knowledge when sorting their lunch trash. According to Craig, a lunchroom custodian, “I think the recycling is really doing something positive even though we have to still throw away a majority of the plastic because it is not being disposed of properly by students.” Students are not informed enough on what they can actually recycle and what they can’t. In an interview with Chase Slack, a senior at GHS, when asked if he recycles his reply was,” Of course, I know what goes in each bin and obviously I shouldn’t throw away the silverware,” but recognizes that a majority of his table does not take the same responsibilities.

 

In the above photo it’s already noticeable that the items that are incorrectly placed. A styrofoam plate, food, straws and the shiny aluminum material used to wrap protein bars and chip bags are all in the wrong spot. Now this can’t all be blamed on the students, knowing what goes where is confusing and hard to remember. That’s why I asked random students how they think we can improve these circumstances. Members of the Green Team who are also students said things like, “Put up signs” and “Go on announcements more often,” to combat the cafeteria struggle. These are all great things that The Green Team could do more of  to help out the students, but for an easy reference students can check the chart below:

Plastic Plastic silverware Juice cups water/pop bottles Hard plastics Single use plastics
Trash styrofoam paper Chips bags straws Plastic bags

 

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