The Municipal Waste Planning Recycling and Waste Reduction Act, also known as Act 101, is a law stating that cities are required to recycle. It became effective in Pennsylvania in 1988.

Unfortunately, the law does not apply to smaller, rural areas like Tyrone. According to the EPA, roughly 80 percent of what Americans throw away is recyclable, with nearly one billion trees worth of paper being thrown out every year. Schools are one of the main contributors.

Bellwood-Antis and Altoona are among the schools in the area that have and enforce recycling programs, but there are several others that do not — with Tyrone Area High School being one of them. While the school does encourage its students to recycle cardboard, the only paper recycling containers are located in the copy rooms, which are largely inaccessible to students.

Despite the fact that Tyrone Borough has recycling laws, TAHS is not required to enforce them, as the school is technically located in Snyder Township. Therefore, in order for the school to comply, the township would first need to pass an ordinance stipulating that it do so. Until then, TAHS is allowed to determine whether or not recycling is mandatory.

According to Tyrone Area School District Physical Plant Supervisor Jordan Good, in addition to cost, cooperation is one of the greatest issues when it comes to having a paper recycling program at the high school. While the administration is in support of starting a recycling program, they seem to be waiting for someone rise to the occasion. Students also appear to be in favor of the idea but, without leadership, seem unsure where to begin. Until someone offers to take on the challenge, the issue remains.

E. S. Young can be reached at


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