We are 8th grade students at Brother Martin High School in New Orleans, Louisiana. As students, we will research recycling where we live to make sure the environment is healthy and clean. We would like to figure out if there are gaps in what is recycled based on the categories of recyclable materials, and how we could help to fill those gaps.
Our main concern:
Our main concern is that New Orleans does not do their part when it comes to recycling, and that our community does not recycle all categories of recyclable materials as much as we could be. If all categories of recyclable materials are not recycled evenly, this could harm the environment.
Obstacles and supporting information:
New Orleans is recycling much less than the average city. This is bad for Louisiana because it is surrounded by Wetlands, and not recycling causes effects upon this environment. Our obstacles for categorizing recycling is that every community is different and they may have different policies, rules, and concerns surrounding recycling. Also, there is a general criteria for recyclables and what is, and isn't recyclable but there are also more specific rules within the criteria. Recycling will be hard to research because it will be difficult to compare different recycling policies to see where the gaps are in ours. To find what is and what is not being recycled, is still a challenge. Another challenge is determining why people don't recycle or what stopped them from recycling.
Who is engaged in this concern?
Many groups have done work on recycling in New Orleans. A group of Tulane students made a machine that turns glass bottles into sand and groups like Public Lab have done work monitoring the effects of trash in New Orleans. To our knowledge, there hasn't been local work on what is and isn't being recycled, or how we could recycle more.
What are the initial questions?
What are local recycling policies?
How is recyclable waste categorized?
Are some categories of recyclable waste recycled more than others in our community?
What categories of recyclable waste are being littered?
Which areas of our community are recycling and which are not?
Which categories of recyclable waste are most important to recycle?
What materials are being made with our community's recycled material?
What are the reasons that members of our community are not recycling?
Does recycling fluctuate throughout the year?