Reduce, Reuse, [Redacted]


Hailey Tesser

A student’s recycling bin rests tucked into a dark corner of their garage. Outside, and in the background, its green counterpart becomes Pembroke Pines’s new “Waste Pro”.

Kara Warren, Clubs Editor

   For as long as we can remember, it was all about “reduce, reuse, recycle”. Up until recently, the instinct to throw away your plastic water bottles, packaging, and cans was stronger than anything else. Now, fighting the urge to place them in green cans can pose a challenge. However, it’s an even bigger challenge for Pembroke Pines to make any progress against climate change when such large amounts of our garbage are being tossed away.

   Like many teachers this year, the CHAT newspaper adviser and journalism teacher, Mr. Fagen stopped and rummaged around his room to find his own blue bin; there wasn’t anything to be found. Having to resort to trash bins in order to dispose of any materials, will definitely impact our school community. Especially after already feeling the effects of global warming throughout the summer, and the constant littering found throughout campus. What seems to linger on so many minds is: how will this affect the planet in the long-run.

   Since the new year, Pembroke Pines has been one of the few cities to end the traditional system of recycling. According to the Local 10 article, City of Pembroke Pines ditches traditional recycling to switch to ‘Waste-To-Energy’ recycling in 2022, the policy, being implemented in January 2022, created a wave of change throughout the entire city. The system entails that all residents of the city will deposit both their trash & recyclable items in the green garbage cans. This way, the city saves at least $10 a month. 

   But one of the most astounding parts of the transition is the finding of old blue bins along the street for bulk pickup. Though the city’s still considering the use of the recycling bins for potential overflows, they’ve confirmed that the change doesn’t seem to benefit or disadvantage Pembroke Pines as a whole. According to CBS News, the city’s decision-making behind the transition was due to “the lack of demand for recyclable materials, the high rate of contamination, and increasing service costs.”

   PPCHS has rejuvenated the Environmental Club, in the hopes of potentially increasing environmental awareness throughout the school. As a new founder of the organization, junior Zachary Marino hopes to still provide an alternative for the controversial issue: “One of my biggest priorities for the club and for myself is to ensure that our communities are protected, respected, and preserved by any means necessary. As we work throughout the year, we can hopefully find a way to combat this new order.” 

   However, Zachary, and the entirety of the Environmental Club, know that the city isn’t working against their intentions. “The city of Pembroke Pines transitioning from traditional recycling isn’t completely negative. There’s still a ton of potential! And who knows, we might be surprised from the benefits that come from this change.” Many of the oversights of recycling include the dangers that occur during the process. Including the spread of pollutants, rapid energy consumption, and the dangerous sites that our recycling materials are sent to. But when it’s all said and done, only time will tell if it’s really a benefit or another disadvantage to our environment.

   Though the new regulation is just beginning to actively take effect, many Pembroke Pines residents and environmentalists are very passionate about potential alternatives to this plan. With the city’s best interests in mind, the economical factor of it all is definitely worth it. But is it worth the sacrifice of our communities?