Tammy Otten Turns Trash to Treasure

Otten leads recycling project at BHS to benefit the Blue Start Mothers

Students at BHS are on two sides of the same coin in the topic of recycling. Some taking the extra time to better our earth by throwing their used plastic and aluminum in the recycling bin, and others who throw these items in the nearest trashcan with no wondering on where it will end up. Tammy Otten -being the face of recycling donations within our school- encourages the students in the building to change their behavior from convenience to consideration.

Senior Calli Branson 22’ differs from the majority of her peers at BHS; while many students go for convenience in an attempt to save time and steps, Branson sees lots of her peers throwing their recyclables into the trash can with zero disregard and care for where this used plastic or aluminum is going to end up. Branson however, likes to take the longer walk to a recycling bin, even though there are less of them in the building compared to trash cans, Branson even takes the time to recycle goods from the comfort of her home.

I recycle everything I can while I’m at school, but I know I am better about it while I’m at home even if it means I have to walk further to have access to a recycling bin, and have it be less convenient.”

Librarian Tammy Otten spends parts of her day in the LLC and one of her choice tasks is to collect recyclables out of the trash that kids throw away. Sometimes she will yell at kids to put their recyclables where they are supposed to go, but there is a good reason for this. The military blue star moms are collecting plastic to build a bench to be put in the community.

I save any plastic from what the students throw away as possible, not only this, but I have paper printed with a list of acceptable recyclables students and staff can donate here in the LLC to be donated to the Blue Star military mothers. ”

Freshman Stephanie Soeun 25’, like her peer Calli Branson 22’, is an advocate for the earth’s overall health, even if it is only a little thing at a time. Souen takes the chance to recycle whenever she can, in school and at home. After becoming aware of what Tammy is doing with all the used plastic, she plans to encourage her friends to recycle when they can. Souen likes the idea of keeping as much plastic out of landfills as possible, so it has the chance to be broken down and reused and made into something else in the future.

“People throw their recyclables where they are supposed to go because they don’t want their peers to be mad, or they want to help the earth by recycling and putting things in the right place. Personally, I’ve always recycled everything, but if I didn’t, I would reconsider where I put my used plastic in school, now that I know what Tammy is doing with used plastic.”

While Otten gets super excited about students taking their time to walk to a recycling bin and going the extra mile to bring in their used plastic from their own homes, she is not the only one who appreciates this. The Blue Star Mothers value each plastic donation to not only create a composite bench, but also help clean up our earth.

“The Blue Star Mothers are also working to collect 500 pounds of plastics from April 1 through September 30th to receive a Trex composite bench which will be placed in our community. 500 lbs is equivalent to 40,500 plastic bags!”

Although many people at BHS are not aware of the importance of recycling, many students and staff are working hard to combat pollution. The importance of recycling has become highlighted by people like recycling enthusiast Tammy Otten. This small act means a lot to not only Tammy, the environment as a whole, our Blue Star Mothers, and the community. You may want to reconsider where your plastic from your school bento box is going. Take the extra time to throw this item in the recycling, for a good long term cause, and encourage your peers to help clean up our earth as well. Together as a community we will help keep tons of plastic out of the landfills.

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