The Return of On-Campus Recycling

by Jesseca Ormond – After a one-year hiatus, recycling has returned to the Morningside campus. During the pause, student groups such as the Morningside Student Government stepped up to collect and properly dispose of recyclable materials.

Ashton Schweers, Student Government Director of Communications, said it was important to undergo this initiative because student government received multiple concerns from constituents regarding the loss of plastic and aluminum recycling on campus.

According to Schweers, even though recycling canisters were present around campus, bottles were being thrown away and not recycled. When students found out, there were multiple questions directed at Student Government in regards to the termination of on-campus recycling.

“As the head of the community outreach committee, I felt the need to take this dilemma into our hands for the time being, knowing that the sustainability committee was working hard to get recycling back on campus. Our main initiative was to collect all recycling while also turning in the cans and bottles that were eligible for a refund,” Schweers said.

Student government collected cans and bottles by going door-to-door throughout residence halls on Sunday nights and took them to off-campus recycling programs that provided small compensations for the cans and bottles. Student government plans to donate the proceeds earned.

“With this money that we obtained, we will be donating it to charity at the end of the year. The recycling committee that is run by Student Government will continue to turn in cans and bottles that are eligible for a refund, and will still be going door to door in the dorms on Sunday nights to collect any recycling the residents may have,” Schweers said.

Standard recycling has returned to campus and John Helms, from the sustainability community listed in an e-mail the items available for recycling.

“The things you can put in them include aluminum, tin and steel cans, paper, cardboard, and plastics 1-6 (nearly all single use plastic drink containers). Unfortunately, no glass in the dumpsters, at this time. I invite you to begin using these dumpsters for recyclables effective immediately and remind you to always completely empty and rinse food and drink containers before recycling them,” said Helms.

The locations of the four recycling bins on campus are behind Walker Science Center, behind Eppley Auditorium, in front of Dimmitt Hall, and behind Roadman Hall.

The kinks of the transition are still being worked out. “Bear with us while we sort out in-building recycling collection,” Helms said.

The sustainability committee thanked the administration and the Director of the Physical Plant Jay Malin for working alongside them to resolve the loss of a plastic recycling stream.  Helms also offered thanks to students and student groups who collected recycling and diverted aluminum, plastic, and glass to off-campus recycling programs.

February 21, 2018