Inola High School students arrived prepared Monday night to ask the Inola Board of Trustees to consider creating a community recycling program.
“Our mission is to put Inola on the recycling map as a community providing a cleaner future,” said freshman Lindey Moss. “We would like to do this by establishing a recycling bin within Inola.”
The students pointed out that the closest public recycling centers to Inola are miles away in Catoosa and Claremore.
They addressed common myths like, “recycling uses more energy than making a product from scratch,” “items must be meticulously sorted,” “products made from recycled content are lower quality,” “recyclables just end up in the trash,” and “recycling doesn’t pay for itself.”
According to a fact sheet the student’s provided, the recycling process and use of recycled materials saves 5,774 kilowatt hours of energy per ton of recycled material.
In addition, a ton of recycled paper saves 17 trees, 380 gallons of oil, three cubic yards of landfill space, 4,000 kilowatts of energy and 7,000 gallons of water, resulting in 64 percent energy savings, 56 percent water savings and 60 pounds less of air pollution.
The students suggested the town work with Mr. Murph, based in Tulsa, to rent and operate a recycling drop-off bin.
Mr. Murph was selected because they deliver and retrieve the bin as well as perform the bulk of the sorting themselves.
Mr. Murph accepts cardboard, junk mail, newspapers, magazines, office paper, file folders, plastic bottles, aluminum or steel cans, catalogues and phone books.
“Establishing a recycling center will contribute positively to the growing community of Inola,” said sophomore Selena Lor.
Local recycling is also a potential selling point for new businesses looking to establish themselves in the community, the students said.
The group suggested the Harp’s parking lot, the truck lot across from Pop’s and GiGi’s Diner, the Speedy’s parking lot or the Jim Summerlin Industrial Park as ideal locations for the 22-foot-long bin.
The costs associated to have a Mr. Murph bin in Inola are $190 a month to have the container, and $220 each time a full bin is emptied and replaced.
“Why now? Saving our natural resources by recycling is essential to preserving the future. Recycling not only saves money, but also makes the world a better place for many generations,” Moss said. “There is nothing like the present.”
“God gifted us with this beautiful earth, and it would be silly for us not to cherish it,” said sophomore Brysen Morgan.
“I would like my future kids to have a great community to grow up in,” junior Josh Sherrod said.
Beyond their presentation to the board, the students are also organizing potential sponsors and volunteers from the community and raising awareness about the need for convenient, local recycling at school.
The students said there is a significant public trash problem in Inola, and while many people might want to recycle, it’s simply not convenient.
“We are the future, and we want our future to be clean,” said freshman Avery Tabor
“As a small town, we should look nice and inspire other small towns,” Moss said.
In closing to the board of trustees, Lor said, “While you take your time to think about it, all I want to say is, let’s start 2020, a new year, a clean year.”