by Kavita Mehta
The Environmental Club is planning a Styrofoam recycling program at WHS following Principal Mr. Peter Renwick’s approval of the club’s proposal in late November.
According to the proposal, the cost-free program will lower WHS’ waste and contribution to landfills.
Collection boxes with large plastic bags will be placed in the cafeterias and Student Center to gather clean Styrofoam items. Dirty foam trays will continue to be discarded in the trash.
When the plastic bags are full, the Environmental Club will bring them to Foam Pack Industries, which crushes used clean Styrofoam into blocks and sells it to shipping businesses, which use the blocks for packaging materials.
Environmental Club Adviser Ms. Kathleen Bigelow said, "After discussing where the school could make improvements in our ecological footprint, the club decided that reducing the amount of Styrofoam that goes to a landfill was a great place to start."
According to Environmental Club Co-President senior Tom Ramage, David Goodstein, Vice President of Foam Pack Industries, appreciated that the WHS Environmental Club wanted to work with his company because he runs his business from recycling the foam and "takes any and all donations he [can] get."
According to Bigelow and Ramage, recycling Styrofoam is important to the Environmental Club because the material pollutes landfills, disrupts the natural balance of the ecosystem and creates hazardous waste. If not recycled properly, this non-biodegradable petroleum product will stay in a landfill for hundreds of years without breaking down.
Food rarely touches the Styrofoam because the WHS cafeteria usually serves food in bowls and cups on top of the foam trays. Many students currently throw out clean trays, according to the club’s proposal.
Bigelow said, "[The Styrofoam recycling program] is easy, free, and best of all it can make a big impact with very little effort."