City, county celebrate Hart district recycling program

Members of the Santa Clarita City Council and of the Valencia High School Recycling Club stand in the school’s new recycling bins in front of Valencia High School on Thursday, Feb. 15, 2018. Christina Cox/The Signal

About 30 students at Valencia High School are working together to save the earth and promote recycling on their school campus through the high school’s new Recycling Club.

“We didn’t have any recycling program on campus before we can here.  There was a small one run by the special ed program, but it was on a small scale,” sophomore and Recycling Club President Kenshu Tanabe said.  “We wanted to actually implement big, large-scale recycling trashcans.”

This year, the two groups of students decided to combine their efforts together to recycle more waste on campus and collect more money for school programs.

“There was originally two separate recycling clubs and they combined to form one bigger movement on campus to raise the most money that they could for the campus,” junior and ASB President Brennan Book said.  “We’re excited for what they’re doing.”

With help from William S. Hart Union High School District officials, the Recycling Club placed 30 large bins on the Valencia High school campus to collect plastic bottles, soda cans and other materials.

“We contacted the district and the district helped us out a lot with providing us with actual recycling bins,” Tanabe said.  “We have the on-campus ones set up and we’re planning to buy more for in classroom.”

Using the proceeds from recycling items on campus, the Recycling Club plans to donate the recycling money to the National Resource Defense Council and to the Valencia High School special education program.

From left to right, Santa Clarita City Council Mayor Laurene Weste and Valencia High School student stand in the school’s new recycling bins in front of Valencia High School on Thursday, Feb. 15, 2018. Christina Cox/The Signal

To celebrate the students’ work and the high school’s new recycling program, the Santa Clarita City Council, the Hart district Governing Board, the Los Angeles County Fifth District Supervisor Kathryn Barger’s office and the Los Angeles Conversation Corps gathered at Valencia High School Thursday to congratulate the students on their new program.

“It’s a great learning experience for the young adults who are here at the high school and they’re really involved,” said Rosalind Wayman, senior deputy representative for Barger’s office.  “People make comments about kids don’t do anything do anything these days, and these kids are doing lots in an area you wouldn’t think of.  This is not glamorous, but they’re really excited to be doing it.”

The recycling program is also part of an ongoing effort throughout the city to increase city-wide recycling to 75 percent, according to Mayor Laurene Weste.

In 2012, the city partnered with Hart district, the Los Angeles County Supervisors and the Conservation Corps to establish and support a student-led project to collect and recycle beverage containers on the districts’ junior and senior high school campuses.

“We’re involved with the schools and with the recycling programs and we help expand the programs with them,” Weste said.  “We’re supporting recycling because we’re a recycling city… This is another way future generations can be productive and understand why it’s important and help the environment.”

Now, the project has come to fruition at Valencia High school where students and staff are actively working to reduce waste on campus.

“For these young people, I’m very proud of them because they’re recycling.  They’re excited about doing this program and the more they can get everybody to recycle the more money that’s going to come back to their school,” Weste said.  “I think it’s a win-win for the environment, for the community, for future generations and for their school while they’re here.”

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