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Wasteful: Brooklyn School Throws Books in Trash

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This New York Daily News article had me scratching my head in disbelief.

One of my neighborhood elementary schools prepared for the first day of classes by tossing about 200 books in the trash -- and they were in decent condition!

Teresa Melendez, the parent of two kids there and a PTA member who helps out with the school's book fair, put it simply when she said, "I am appalled. To find out they're throwing away books when our library needs the books ... I'm in shock."

Another school parent dug through the stacks to save some of the books -- as well as two computer printers! "Look at this -- this is a really good book," he said. "This is not the first time they've done this. I have a TV I picked up last year over here -- a good TV. It still works." The Daily News article noted that neighbors have complained for years about the trash outside the school.

When asked to comment, a Department of Education spokesperson said, "When getting rid of pieces of furniture or books that are still in good condition, schools should make every effort to donate these materials to other schools or charities. However, schools may need to dispose of textbooks that are still usable because the material they contain is outdated."

All you teachers out there, please help us understand: Considering the fact that schools are putting in place strong initiatives to teach children how to be eco-responsible, is there any reason AT ALL for a school to toss out perfectly good books and computer equipment?!


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