Recycling’s New Look: CHS adjusts to new waste management method, complete with offsite recycling

Michelle Yin, Reporter

CHS has installed a trash compactor to manage its waste. This follows the Carmel Clay Schools (CCS) administration’s 2015 decision to send its waste to a Ray’s Trash sorting facility. According to CCS administrator Roger McMichael, CHS did not initially participate in this program.

“The trash at all other locations has been recycled as per above since 2015, but not at CHS because of the volume, which necessitated the need for a second compactor,” McMichael said via email.

Kelly Davis, administrative representative for CCS Green Team and Woodbrook Elementary principal, said waste is sent to a separate facility.

“Carmel Clay Schools has a large recycling effort, but it looks different from the way you recycle at home. Everything is recycled offsite by hand, and people literally go through and separate recyclable from contaminated trash,” Davis said.

Waste is organized into several categories and sold to corporations that incorporate recycled materials into their products. Any waste Ray’s Trash deems unsellable is sold to a steam-generating plant.

“This whole process results in no waste stream items going to a landfill,” McMichael said.

Davis said this method is more effective than having recycling bins throughout the school.

“In a corporation that is as large as ours, by using this process, items are more likely to be recycled because we don’t rely on thousands of people making the right decision to throw something in the trash or recycle bin,” Davis said.

Ben Ring, Environmental Action Club leader and sophomore, said he agrees this process makes recycling simpler, despite the labor costs.

“In my personal experience, I have found that an overwhelming number of students have little regard for recycling options. By having the recyclables sorted remotely, all responsibility placed on students is removed. Even the most responsible recyclers (myself included) can have trouble discerning whether or not an item belongs in the recycling container,” Ring said via email.

However, Davis said ultimately there needs to be more awareness about this policy. Ring said there are several ways the administration could inform students.

Ring said, “Removing existing blue recycling bins would also be extremely helpful in eliminating confusion. A brief notice on trash cans stating the recycling policy would also be a helpful reminder.”