Revamping recycling

October 28th, 2010

The University hopes to increase recycling on campus and get students more involved

John Carroll University is working to make recycling bins more distinguishable and increase recycling on campus. 

“We have an invisible [recycling] program right now,” said Rory Hill, facilities services technician and recycling sub-committee chair for the Sustainability Committee. 

The goal right now is to make recycling easier and more obvious to students in residence halls. 

Coca-Cola gave the University 100 recycling bins when it became JCU’s vending provider, and two-thirds of those bins will be placed in the trash rooms of the residence hall floors. In the past, the recycling and general waste receptacles have looked identical. Existing general waste containers will also be relabeled.

“They [recycling bins] will look completely different from the trash cans. Students can’t say [once the bins are in place] they look the same anymore,” said Hill. 

Educational posters will also be posted inside the trash rooms.

Additionally, small blue recycling bins will be distributed to each student’s room. Each room will have one trash can and one recycling bin and students will be encouraged to sort recyclable items from other garbage. 

Other than residence halls, new distinct recycling bins will be placed in high traffic areas and near vending areas, such as outside of Einstein Bros. Bagels. This constitutes the remaining one-third of the Coca-Cola recycling containers. 

The University’s Sustainability Committee is meeting later this week to finalize proposed changes, as well as the timeline for implementing any decided changes.

The official timeline for implementing the new program is pending approval, the Greek floors will be the first to receive both the recycling bins for the entire floor and for each student room to test the new program. This could be implemented as soon as the end of the week. 

The rest of the student floors will receive both sets of recycling bins over Christmas Break. 

“The main reason for waiting [until Christmas Break] is the time required in resetting the trash rooms, some cleaning of them and then installing the marketing pieces in the areas for the educational part of the program.  This would be best accomplished if done over the break and the students will have the experience of coming back to campus after break and seeing that a change has happened,” said Hill. 

In the past, JCU has had issues with recycling on campus. The main issue has been contamination. There was little distinction between recycling bins and general waste bins in the residence halls. Many items that could have been recycled were then contaminated and could not be recycled. The other issue was that items that were not contaminated had to be sorted from the general waste, and it was not done on campus. 

“However, with the new bins our recycling will be separated from the trash making the recycling process much more efficient; therefore the new bins will be tremendous help if used properly by students,” said senior Raymond Chahoud, founder of Environmental Issues Group and Sustainability Committee member.

Additionally, JCU is better able to track the campus’ waste this semester. The University recently renegotiated its contract with Landmark Disposal for waste removal. Part of the new deal includes installing scales on the truck to measure how much waste the campus generates. 

“We’ll have a more accurate account of trash on campus and a better understanding of how much we generate,” said Andrew Fronczek, director of purchasing and auxiliary services. 

Fronczek said the University could monitor which days are light days and perhaps cut down on the number of times per week trucks pick up garbage on campus, which is currently six days per week. 

Both Fronczek and Hill said the University’s primary goal is to improve recycling and make it more visual for students.

Hill said, “We’re trying to be more proactive and visible about recycling on campus.”