Books are tossed out, students want to recycle
Students removed nearly 1,000 books from dumpsters at Park City High School. David Reynar, a senior who helped retrieve the books, said most of them were literature or history texts. A brand new set of "The Invisible Man" by Ralph Ellison was discovered to have been thrown away by mistake.
"I really think that in a community that’s so based on recycling this kind of thing shouldn’t be going on," said Reynar. Principal Hal Smith explained most of the books were from the 1970s and 80s. Used high school books will sometimes be bought by a vendor but he said, "None of the vendors wanted those books."
The books had been stored at the high school for quite some time. English teacher Jon Sanders said, "For years we just let them accumulate here in our store room. In fifteen years I’ve never seen the English department throw anything away."
Construction at the high school has caused a shortage of storage space and forced teachers to throw away the books. "It was a necessity," Sanders said. "Most of them were text books which are highly disposable. The main things we threw away were old text books and publisher samples."
Smith said it would be preferable if the high school could find a place to donate the books. "We had gone to different places in the past and asked if they were interested in the books and nobody was," he said.
Reynar has stored the books in a storage unit at All Resort Express while he looks into possible places to donate the books, "Right now we’re working on getting contact information for places like Indian reservations and inner city schools, possibly a place in Nigeria."
Sanders observed that there would be a high shipping cost attached to sending the books out of the country. "Certainly there are places in Africa that might be able to use those books, but the shipping would outweigh the cost of the books," he said.
Tyler Shadde, a senior, is helping Reynar find a place to donate the texts. "I feel a little turned off by it, but I don’t think it’s as bad as some people have made it out to be," he said about the bookss being thrown away.
Reynar expressed some disappointment in the situation. "I felt that it was wrong for a school that is as prosperous as ours for that kind of waste to be happening. I think there needs to be a policy change with the school," he said.
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The Park City Ice Arena is expected to temporarily close later in 2021 to allow crews to replace the ice surface and perform other maintenance work, one of a series of projects City Hall plans to outline at an upcoming open house. It will be an in-person event.