Recycle Now!


Photo by Brandon Hipp

Poly students arrive to another class to help our campus go green and recycle.

Facts are important, extremely important. When Intensive Studies teacher Tonia Schwichtenberg voiced the controversy surrounding Poly’s recycling program, it was apparent that there were many misunderstandings.

During certain periods of the day, students with intellectual disabilities can be seen picking up and recycling bottles and cans.
The point Schwichtenberg has been trying to get across is that the students participating in this program are choosing to participate.
“It’s a school-wide program that is their choice to be a part of,” Schwichtenberg said. “It is NOT trash pick up. I need everybody to understand that.”
To clear up any confusion and end the recycling program’s negative connotation, a list of facts was included and discussed by Schwichtenberg herself.

Schwichtenberg’s List of Facts:
1. The program is not a trash pick up. The students recycle cans and bottles, and it is called Recycle Now.
2. Recycle Now was designed by and for students who have intellectual disabilities.
3. Students involved in Recycle Now use the bottles and cans recycled each day to create reusable products, such as backpacks and rulers.
4. Recycle Now is a paid job for students who are interested.
5. Students that choose to be a part of the program have to go through an application process to be picked for the position. 6. Schwichtenberg and her students began Recycle Now around 19 years ago and have proven the success of the program each day. The students that have this job recycle around 3,000 pounds of bottles and cans on the Poly campus each year, and Recycle Now has been honored with various awards from the City.

Recycle Now has been beneficial for students with disabilities, and the program will continue to thrive. There is always more than what meets the eye.