APES students develop close bond with waste

January 7, 2011 — by Uttara Sivaram

To better realize the amount of waste an individual produces each week, the AP Environmental class got down and dirty, collecting and carrying their own garbage during and after school for a week, starting Jan 4.

“It’s pretty gross,” senior Simrath Ratra said. “But it’s actually eye-opening to see how much we all throw out without even thinking.”

As a merciful gesture, APES teacher Kristen Thomson told her students that they didn’t have to throw out all their trash; items with traces of food could be disposed in garbage bins, while scratch paper, empty plastic bottles and clean wrappers would make up the majority of the students’ collections.

“I’m so relieved that I didn’t have to throw my In-n-Out wrappers or plastic utensils in my bag,” senior Parth Dholakia said. “My [bag] has already started to smell a bit, even though I’ve only thrown out chip packets and empty bottles so far.”

Students were required to check in with Thomson every day, regardless of whether they had class. Thomson checked each bag and stamped their lab sheets. The project culminated in the thorough examination of each student’s trash collection, with written reflections on individual wastefulness.

“I’m actually curious as to how much trash all of my classmates will end up with,” Ratra said.

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