Ecology Effort

Mr. Moellendorf has implemented recycling bins in classrooms around the school

This+is+a+picture+of+garbage+cans+in+Nevada%27s+Valley+of+Fire%2C+showing+how+far+our+waste+can+go+By+CGP+Grey+%282009-09-09T19-50-42+--+DSC_0245+4893627106%29+%5BCC+BY+2.0+%28http%3A%2F%2Fcreativecommons.org%2Flicenses%2Fby%2F2.0%29%5D%2C+via+Wikimedia+Commons
This is a picture of garbage cans in Nevada's Valley of Fire, showing how far our waste can go By CGP Grey (2009-09-09T19-50-42 -- DSC_0245 4893627106) [CC BY 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

This is a picture of garbage cans in Nevada's Valley of Fire, showing how far our waste can go By CGP Grey (2009-09-09T19-50-42 -- DSC_0245 4893627106) [CC BY 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

This is a picture of garbage cans in Nevada's Valley of Fire, showing how far our waste can go By CGP Grey (2009-09-09T19-50-42 -- DSC_0245 4893627106) [CC BY 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

Spencer Abrams, Journalist

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  Richard Nixon is not a president who is looked upon fondly. Watergate and corruption marred his leadership, but there is one shining star in his timeline. On December 2, 1970, Nixon got approval from the House and Senate to found an Environmental Protection Agency. William Ruckelshaus took office two days later.

  From 2016 to 2017, the EPA budget dropped by about 100 million dollars. That isn’t a whole lot in the grand scheme of our government budget, but that’s beyond the point. The future of the planet is the duty of the citizens, not the government.

  Dylan Moellendorf, PVHS history teacher, has taken matters into his own hands. In several classrooms, he has placed white bins that can be filled with recyclable material.

  Moellendorf began his conservation effort because “we waste a lot of paper, so I figured if I started [recycling] it would carry on.” Old assignments and water bottles would both be resources to put in the bins.

  Emptying the recycling bins is still Moellendorf’s responsibility, as the school has no official recycling system in place, but he hopes to inspire that change.

  One modification he’s proposed is the addition of a club that specials in recycling. Maintaining numerous containers is a difficult job alone, and certainly there are students who care enough to help.

   Another club idea he has had involves bicycles. The lack of public transportation in Pahrump is crippling, so a program to provide bikes to kids would be helpful, as well as reduce gas emissions.

   Moellendorf’s conservation efforts don’t end at just recycling, and anyone who has had his class knows this. His walls are plastered with posters and maps regarding national parks and the environment.

  He harbors sentiment that more Americans should: enjoy the outdoors. Since the dawn of Schoolhouse Rock, we have been told to “reduce, reuse, and recycle,” but that view is lost beyond the catchy tunes.

  All is not yet lost; there is still time for change. Recycling is falling out of stylethe Department of Conservation and Natural Resources states that the recycling rate of Nevadans has fallen from 25% to 20%, but there is still time to turn that number around.

  The DCNR is a statewide effort to preserve the environment that we can, luckily, still find in Nevada. We are blessed with open fields and endless desert. Without help, Nevada could succumb to the rust belt-esque metropolitan hellscape wave that spreads from an epicenter in New York City.

Recycling bins in San Francisco, Photo by I, BrokenSphere [GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html), CC-BY-SA-3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/) or CC BY-SA 2.5-2.0-1.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.5-2.0-1.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

  Comparing Southern Nevada to other cities makes us look really bad. While we are at a 20% recycling rate, San Francisco produces 25% as much waste as they have, due to threats of funding cut if they fail to meet the mark. Their next goal is to generate no landfill waste by 2020.

  One of the few differences between Pahrump and San Francisco, is the recycling bins come to them. In Pahrump, the vast majority of folks have to drive all the way to Walmart to drop off their recycling, and to some folks that’s too far of a trek.

  Moellendorf’s effort solves the first of many issues. Easily accessible recycling bins encourage waste reduction, as the distance to conserve is vastly reduced for everyone but Moellendorf. Now he has to drive to deliver 6 schoolwide recycling bins.

  His personal attachment to this project is indeed noble. Hopefully his undertaking will continue to develop, and create a better Pahrump for the future.

5 Comments

5 Responses to “Ecology Effort”

  1. Michael Lahey on February 9th, 2018 9:25 am

    I liked this story very much, and I love that Mr. Moellendorf is contributing to the solution of this issue. I also love the emotion in this piece as seen in the sentence “his personal attachment this project is indeed noble.” Hopefully, his undertaking will continue to develop, and create a better Pahrump for the future.

    [Reply]

  2. Bridgette Segura on February 9th, 2018 12:01 pm

    I agree with the opinion of the author when they argue “there is still time for change.” I believe that by one person changing their habits could make a difference in the world. Humans should take more care of their home.

    [Reply]

  3. Jacquelynn Escobedo on February 11th, 2018 10:50 pm

    The school should sponsor more conservation clubs, and encourage recycling in an effort to help the environment. Many would agree that “Mr. Moellendorf’s personal attachments to this project is indeed noble”. I also agree that his actions are noble, and I don’t see many people doing this often.

    [Reply]

  4. Alexis Norman on February 12th, 2018 11:52 am

    This story was very informational to me ,because I have always run into the problem of not being able to recycle at school. “Moellendorf has placed white bins that can be filled with recyclable material” and if there were to be a club focused on recycling, I would join.

    [Reply]

  5. Damon Petersen on February 14th, 2018 9:08 am

    Mr. Moellendorf has a very valid point. Recycling is one process that helps not only the town of Pahrump, but the world too. Most people would think that the world is getting lost, but “all is not yet lost; there is still time for change.” There is always time for change. It should not be that hard to throw the empty water bottle, the marked up piece of paper in a recycling bin. Is 5 seconds a big waste of time to think which is the recycling bin and which is the regular trash? It really is not. People of the town of Pahrump should learn that recycling could make this town cleaner, and a clean town is a healthy town. For people to litter and not recycle the right materials is outrageous and disrespectful to the Earth’s atmosphere.

    [Reply]

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