Future Generations club helps out with plastic recycling program


Megan Oosthuizen

A full recycling bin sits in a classroom. Future Generations started helping out teacher Annette Reese with the recycling program this year.

After almost two years of running a recycling program on her own, special education teacher Annette Reese started receiving help from the Future Generations Club earlier this year. This has increased her productivity; she now has help to take out the recycling, and has distributed more recycling bins to teachers across the school.

Reese started the recycling program almost two years ago, purchasing recycle bins with her own money and distributing them to teachers that wanted to be involved.

“I was looking at all of the trash bins…and it was so full of plastic, that it just broke my heart,” Reese said. “And I just know that none of that is biodegradable, and it’s not getting recycled unless we make the effort to specifically put it in the recycling bin.”

Many teachers began to back out of the program because they were required to take the recycle home or put it out in the large bin themselves, until Future Generations stepped in.

“During one of our first meetings, [Future Generations sponsor Gary Ryman] brought it up, because he knew Mrs. Reese was doing that,” co-president Hannah Caracalas said. “The club members suggested that we could go around and help her pick up the recycling, so that teachers wouldn’t have to take it home themselves.”

Ryman began sponsoring the club three years ago, and although he “isn’t a big Greenie,” he is still finding a way to do his part with the club.

“This is a great way to be environmentally active in a very positive way by doing things in the community, and for the community, and for the school,” Ryman said. “As opposed to chaining ourselves to a tree or laying down in front of bulldozers, we’re actually out doing something to actually improve things.”

Future Generations meets on Mondays during B block, and takes out recycling on Wednesdays B block. Reese hopes that the involvement of the club will encourage people to recycle plastics, cardboard, and cans, not just paper.

“It was under the belief of Hebron that we could only recycle paper,” Reese said. “Just this summer, [principal Scot Finch] found out by the East Zone leader…anything that Carrollton recycles, you can recycle out in this bin.”

Reese is hoping to expand her program to the ninth grade center, and ultimately try to get a district-wide recycling program. There are currently about 90 teachers with Reese’s recycling bins in their classrooms, but Reese hopes to increase awareness about the environment with the help of Future Generations.

“When I was growing up, we threw everything away, we didn’t have recycling,” Reese said. “I’m hoping this generation, and generations to come understand how important it is to sustain the environment.”