Bottles and Cans of Ripon High


Angelina Rivara, Journalist

Do you ever wonder where your empty soda cans go after you put them in the blue recycling bins around campus? Ripon High School’s very own Journalism team is collecting the school’s recycling. 


Apart from being great for the environment, recycling in large amounts can make a small profit. The money that The Smoke Signal raises through recycling goes towards paying off expenses of their website and hopefully, in the future printing an actual newspaper. For a few years, our school paper has been unable to have an actual– well, paper. However, if they collect enough bottles and cans this year, they can achieve their dream. Almost everyone in the class agrees that the hard work of sorting recycled bottles and cans is worth the final prize.


“I definitely do want one of my articles to be published in a newspaper… it’s something that’s tangible you can show to family instead of just sharing a link…” said Jenny Pfeifer, Junior. 


The thought of having a real paper to prove you are a journalist is definitely appealing. A few of the people in the class think that it is worth all the work of sorting the recycling to be able to print the paper. 


It is a lot of work to sort the recycling. The Smoke Signal team has to split itself into mini groups. In each group, one person takes lids off bottles, another stomps the bottles and cans flat, and a third separates the plastic bottles from the aluminum cans into two bags. Many among the class are students who have been on the journalism team for a few years. They help supervise their peers who are new to The Smoke Signal. Since the beginning of the year, journalism has collected dozens of bags– all full to the brim with recycling. 


“If I’m being very honest, it’s not very fun… Sometimes, if you make the best out of situations you don’t like, it’s easier to make it more fun– for yourself and other people,” said Rogelio Gonzalez, Junior. 


The team has some work to do, but that doesn’t mean you should recycle less!


“I wish students and teachers would recycle more, even though that means more work for us, it’s also much better for the environment,” said Haven Gutierrez, Junior.