“We are fighting back,” says Lucy Kaminsky, co-president of Briarcliff Treehugger’s club. Briarcliff Treehugger’s Club is a student-run organization with faculty sponsor Mrs. Constantinou. The club aims to promote environmental awareness within the school and strive to make the school more environmentally friendly. As a part of this mission, the club has been collecting the recycling from classrooms and offices for many years. However, it was recently discovered that this was a duty that was the responsibility of a different group of people.
Uncovered deep in the contract of the night staff was a previously unknown obligation: recycling. About nine or ten years ago, Treehuggers began the recycling program at BHS and asked for bins to be placed in classrooms and collected paper, glass, plastic, and metal for recycling twice a month. This summer, an officer of Treehuggers noticed that, per an agreement with the nighttime cleaning crew, they were responsible for picking up recycling, not the Treehuggers.
Treehugger Vice President Alex Schoepke found the contract online and brought it to the club’s attention, and the club then brought the issue to Mrs. French. Mr. Bauso, who oversees buildings and grounds at Briarcliff, was made aware of the discovery by Mrs. French and instructed the night-crew to begin collecting the all recyclables. At the moment, the night crew collects the recyclables, but the question is whether or not all of it is making it to the proper bins for collection, or just being thrown in the trash.
Treehuggers is passionate about the issue and wants to prevent recyclables from ending up in landfills. Briarcliff High School produces pounds and pounds of waste per day,
and whatever can be recycled or reused should be. It is the hope of the club that in the future there will be stricter en- forcement of recycling. Fortunately, a higher level of oversight seems possible thanks to a newly formed position. Soon, a member of the custodial staff will be appointed to serve as a liaison for daytime custodians and nighttime staff. This individual will oversee all custodial issues in the building. It is the goal of the Treehugger Club to have as much potential waste recycled instead of being thrown away so that we can save tons of plastics and metals from ending up buried in the earth forever.