Penn Manor Students Forgetting to Recycle

By Matt Hatch and Mark Dano

Penn Manor High School students may not be as “green” as you think.

Recycling comes naturally for some students at home, but when it comes to recycling at Penn Manor, a simple task can become a tedious chore.

“They just throw them (the recyclable bottles) away,” said Brian Frantz, a custodian at Penn Manor who said he is offended by the lack of recycling here.

Throughout the school, bottles are thrown in trash cans with recycling bins nowhere to be seen in classrooms.  Students are even putting water bottles in regular trash cans at lunch despite the fact that a recycling bin is sitting right next to it.

“It upsets me,” said Eddie Bley, a Penn Manor student who frequently recycles.

It may be laziness, lack of care or just plain ignorance.  Either way, the recycling efforts at Penn Manor are mediocre at best.  Many students admit to not recycling at school because they have “better” things to worry about.

Penn Manor senior, Dylan Weber, throws a water bottle into a regular trash can. Photo by Matt Hatch

“I think Penn Manor should give reminders to students or a public announcement,” said Lake Heckaman, a junior at Penn Manor.  “What we have now is too easy to miss.”

The tattered recycling sign in the cafeteria signifies what the students think of recycling.

“There’s always recyclable materials mixed in the trash,” said Frantz.

The students are not the only problem, the school is also to blame.

“It is not something that has been encouraged here like it is in many homes,” said Phil Gale, principal of Penn Manor High School.

At the same time, there is no way the school can effectively make students recycle.

“I don’t think (recycling) is something you can force people to do,” said Gale.

Despite efforts by both the school and some students, Penn Manor has failed to create and keep a successful recycling program. This goes against a Pennsylvania law.

“All state-owned institutions of learning must implement waste reduction and recycling programs in compliance with Commonwealth Management Directive #205.22 (8/7/89),” according to the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection.

“Recycling has gone in phases. There have been many attempts to begin recycling, but due to various reasons a sustained effort has not happened,” said Gale.

Recycling containers are located in the cafeteria.  Every time you drink a Turkey Hill drink or water, throw out the bottles in the blue and white containers. Every effort could make a difference at Penn Manor.