Thomas Jefferson High School is now stepping up to do what it can to save the environment, in what many are calling a “recycling revolution.”
by Morgan Dorn
photo by Manuel Perez
TJ’s expanded recycling program began with the acquisition of purple recycling bins from the City of Denver. They came from Denver’s cache of thousands of bins that were used before being replaced with the new full-sized bins that now line Denver streets every other week.
William Holden, a long-term Special Education substitute at TJ, was key in acquiring these bins, and was also instrumental to the extension of the recycling program at TJ. “I have, from 21 years of service at South High, seen paper recycling work well. I hated to see all the newspapers get thrown in the trash every day. Also, when the surrounding community sees the school recycling, they start doing it themselves,” said Holden who, in addition to teaching in the Denver Public Schools for 31 years, ran the Environmental Club at South for 15 years, which planted over 200 trees. Holden is now helping TJ Special Education Teacher Keri Myers, a strong advocate of recycling at TJ, bring the legacy of South recycling to TJ.
The idea for the extended recycling program is simple. Before now recycling was only taking place when a few teachers would take it upon themselves to recycle materials from their classes and obliging students. Now the extended recycling program will provide every single classroom with a sturdy purple bin, where paper products, aluminum cans, glass bottles and jars, and plastic bottles can be discarded and then recycled by Special Education students in cooperation with the students and teachers. “It’s going to be so much easier for everyone to have access to recycling, due to the uniform bins in each class,” said Holden. The bins have already been placed in many TJ classrooms and they are quickly filling up with all types of recyclables, including plastic soda-pop bottles from the vending machines, and perforated notebook paper scraps from math papers. To see the complete list of recyclables accepted by The City of Denver, click here. To get your class its very own purple bin, call Holden at 720-423-7006.
“Recycling is a common sense thing,” said Holden, and the recycling bins that he has brought to TJ will stay indefinitely. “We hope this is a start, and we would like to see everything that is recyclable at TJ be recycled in the end.”
On Arbor Day, April 19th, Holden will be planting 34 trees around Valdez Elementary School for about for or five hours, with a combination of elementary and senior high and high school students. If any Spartans are interested in participating see Holden in room 13.