Screen_Shot_2014-10-14_at_8.01.08_PMEnvironmentally conscious schools are picking up the trend and banning Styrofoam from their premises. Joining the efforts this year is the Orange Walk Technical High School where the administration has not only banned Styrofoam but placed some new rules for lunch break. Our news team visited the school this afternoon to take a look at what their new lunch hour is now like.

 

Julian Polanco – Principal


“They have their lunch but at the same time they would leave their picnic table it will eventually fly off the table, we have seven hundred and odd students and then it becomes a mes so the care taker would have to do it and throw it in the dump.  Dogs were all over and then this is not healthy for the students.”


Principal Julian Polanco says this is what drove the administration to meet with vendors on the new idea of introducing plastic containers as an alternative for Styrofoam. With a reduction of fifty dollars on their rent, vendors agreed and the school kicked off its new routine in September this year.


Narciso Gongora – Vendor


“No nos afecta siempre quedo como normal siempre, solo es de que tenemos que hacer train a los students a que traigan sus plates asi que eso ya está bien y entonces son tenemos ningún problema y esta norma igual como estaba.”

 

Dalila Ical – Reporter


“Es una iniciativa que ustedes como vendedores apoyan totalmente?”


Narciso Gongora – Vendor


“Si, si, si realmente lo apoyamos o sea nos ayuda a la escuela y nos ayuda a nosotros en caso que había mucha basura…Menos gastos con los paltos que teníamos que salir a comparar pero no beneficia también en una manera también.”

To ensure the students follow the new rules, teaches supervise them each day and are also monitored by newly installed surveillance cameras.


Julian Polanco – Principal

“They have to go to one designated area, that is the lunch area, after the lunch they can go to this area, use the bathroom and socialize in this area but not having any plastic in their hands or any pouches of water in their hands, they have to eat everything in that side and then move to this area and like we noticed that our compound is much cleaner at this point.”

But does all this bring any additional cost to parents? Polanco says nothing has changed in this regard.


Julian Polanco – Principal


“It’s the same cost because the food is very reasonable and very cheap at Technical, a plate of food is about $3.50 it is a nice meal is a rice and beans with chicken and coleslaw and the have different options.”


The school is also working on making this transition even more comfortable for students. Administration is acquiring more picnic tables to accommodate the entire student population. But the “go green” effort doesn’t end here. The school is also implementing other rules to reduce wastage and the best way to go is electronically.


So how are the students taking all these new changes? For some like Esmeralda Cal, who developed some environmental consciousness in past classes, it’s been overdue.


Esmeralda Cal – Student


“We have several ideas that we should stop the use of the foams but until now it has started right, it is normal and it is something that you feel right in doing because you know it is going to do well for your environment and so it is not something that is going to be complicated but very easy. The additional responsibility is no big deal because you feel good about it.”


Rudy Santos


“It is good because you do not throw garbage anywhere and you have to throw it in its proper place and be responsible or returning the back but I don’t mind at all.”


Waste is without a doubt reduced here. And while plastic containers are not the ideal solution, it is better because it is recyclable, reusable, and airtight, whereas Styrofoam is none of the aforementioned.


Therefore, thumbs up to the Orange Walk Technical High School, the institution which remains true to its motto as “the school that cares”…


Since the initiative was launched at the school, the number of vendors at the gate has reduced to practically none. While not all students buy lunch at the school, those who take theirs also utilize reusable containers.

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