ABE hosts recycling drive

Alice Chen, Editor-in-Chief

ABE executive members Mohak Patel (12) and Victoria Krasnyanski (12) sort bottles and cans at the club’s recycling drive, Nov. 12. After the event, the items they collected were dropped off at local recycling centers by ABE members.

In its history, Westview’s Advocates for a Better Environment (ABE) club has provided numerous opportunities for students to participate in environmentalism. Although its activities halted when the stay-at-home order was issued in March, ABE has recently begun a recycling initiative to encourage environmental awareness throughout the community. 

ABE hosted its first recycling drive of the year at Westview on Nov. 12, collecting recyclable items from bottles and cans to electronics and shoes. Lucas Wang (12), vice-president of ABE’s aquaponics division, said that the club hoped to make a bigger impact by accepting a wide variety of items. 

“Some things, like batteries and shoes, you can’t just throw in your recycling bin at home, and not many people want to make a trip to the recycling center themselves,” Wang said. “That’s why we hosted a drive—so we can do it for them.” 

As the community spends more time at home during the pandemic, more and more household appliances will inevitably become outdated, broken, and ultimately discarded. Unfortunately, Wang said, these electronics are often overlooked as recyclable items. Microwaves and even TVs can be taken apart and reused at a recycling center. Because it may not be as convenient to recycle these items as to simply throw them away, these electronics often don’t reach recycling centers.

Despite this inconvenience, Wang said he believes the positive effects of recycling make the effort worthwhile.

“Recycling is always better than throwing things away, because instead of going to a landfill [your trash] will be repurposed,” he said, “It’s much better for the environment. And the environment is something we’re all responsible for, so we should all do our part to take care of it.”

According to Wang, ABE members hope to keep the spirit of environmental advocacy alive through small-group activities until the pandemic is over. The recycling drives are run by 2-3 volunteers in order to stay socially distanced, and ABE is encouraging its members to pick up trash at parks and beaches individually. Wang said that once it’s deemed safe to return to in-person class, the club will organize gardening, aquaponics, beach cleanups, and other larger volunteering opportunities again.

ABE is hosting its next recycling drive this afternoon from 3:30-4:30 p.m. at the front entrance of Westview.