APES Sorts Campus Trash

Cat Kolm, Staff Writer

AP Environmental Science isn’t just about studying the weather. On November 2nd, APES students sorted through and organized huge piles of trash as part of the recently instituted “Cats Care” campus recycling and composting program.

“We used gloves, phones to take pictures of what was going on, recycling bins, notebooks to record quantities, and plastic bags to hold categorized trash,” said junior Nikitha Kodali.

During class time, students sorted waste into four categories: plastic, glass, food scraps, and unopened food.

The last category was a particular focus, placed on what the APES students dubbed “The Pedestal of Shame.”

The class made sure all the trash they sorted ended up in the right place.  “Mixed paper, metals, and some plastics went in recycling, food-soiled paper and scraps went into compost, and all other plastics and everything else went into landfill,” said senior Maura Wood.

“Our class found a bag of Thin Mints,” said Phu.  “They were completely unopened and uneaten.  Mr. Kauzer was like ‘Nooooo!’ when we showed it to him.  Guess he couldn’t believe people would throw away Thin Mints.”

Some students found the project startling.  “The whole project was a big eye-opener,” said junior Carolyn Phu.  “There was so much unopened food that people throw away.”

Junior Arrada Karmonphet agreed. “Now I know what Campo throws away. Now we can be more mindful of what we toss.”

According to Karmonphet and Phu, some of the things thrown away were surprising. “We found an APES packet we have to turn in on test days,” said Karmonphet.  “Mr. Kauzer was distraught.”

“We found a sandwich that was Saran-wrapped, and then put into a plastic bag,” said Henderson.  “It made me mad that someone would make a complete waste of plastic.”