This week in sustainability: Think before you trash it

September 18th, 2014



The John Carroll University Environmental Issues Group (EIG) would like to welcome everyone back to John Carroll for another great year.


Good news: The bike co-op is back in gear with bikes now available for student use at the Recreation Desk.


There is a lot to look forward to this year–from new friends, to new classes, to recycling.


There has never been a better time for recycling here on campus. There has been a push for more of the big, heavy plastic bins that have been slowly popping up all over campus. These bins have separate holes for cans and bottles, paper and waste. This helps prevent contamination of recyclables by nonrecoverable, and often gross, garbage.


This especially applies to trash rooms in dorms, where trash is often thrown into the blue recycling barrel, not the gray trash barrel.


So when your roommate just throws her garbage everywhere (and don’t lie, it wasn’t your roommate—it was you) she’s making Mother Nature cry.


Don’t make Mother Nature cry, think before you trash it.


Many things can be recycled, including all paper products, like the newspaper in your hands (but read the rest of this first). All aluminum cans and plastic bottles can also be put in the bins for recovery.


Pro tip: Once it’s in the big, hard, plastic bin, no one will know that it was your Natty Light.


But if you get busted while recycling, EIG, while we applaud your effort, is not responsible. Campus now has amenities to facilitate the recycling of electronic waste (e-waste). There is a green box in the copy and mail center where you can dispose of used ink cartridges. And, once you get the behemoth of an iPhone 6 plus, the iPhone 5c.


Jokes aside, this is truly fantastic. The Environmental Protection Agency points out that e-waste is a growing source of heavy metal pollutants such as lead, mercury and cadmium. Recycling e-waste immensely saves energy over mining virgin resources.


This, coupled with the energy savings of recycling, are what makes us at EIG and Mother Nature excited about the rise of on campus recycling.


EIG is looking forward to another great year here at JCU. If you’re interested in learning more about sustainability and what we do, come to our meetings at 7 p.m. on Wednesdays in the Idlewood Room (behind the LSC Conference Room).


Stay classy, and stay green, JCU.


Editor’s Note: Information from this article was taken from