PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — Last year, we found that Pittsburgh Public Schools like Minadeo in Squirrel Hill did not recycle, and that cardboard, bottles and cans – that were actually sorted inside the school – were being thrown in the dumpsters outside and hauled away to landfills with the general trash.

David Hughes petitioned the board of education to make recycling mandatory at all the district’s 57 schools — on both environmental and fiscal grounds.

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“I’m a taxpayer and I support the public school, but I don’t like the idea of them raising my taxes, which they did recently, and not taking advantage of every financial resource,” said Hughes.

The district can actually sell the recyclables for about $35 a ton.

Last year, the City of Pittsburgh made a half million dollars for its recyclable while the school district made only $5,000.

But KDKA found that recycling is still optional at each individual school, and Hughes found out its still spotty at best at Minadeo.

Last month, he took pictures of trash dumpsters filled with cardboard and even wooden pallets that could be sold.

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Hughes says it’s basically money down the drain.

“Absolutely,” he said. “And it’s just intolerable in this day and age.”

Since our reports, the district did take some action, supplying each school with recycling bins and picking up recycling from those that use them. But there is no formal policy and no compliance checks.

Board member Terry Kennedy says the district is setting a poor example to those it teaches.

Environmentalist: Pittsburgh Schools Don’t Recycle (6/24/13)
KD Investigation Gets Action: School Recycling (6/25/13)
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