Students may see the dorm recycling overhaul spread to academic buildings in the near future.
“We have a policy that’s a working draft and has been approved,” Vice President for Business Affairs Gary Anna said. “We have tentatively agreed that next year there will be improvements in general academic buildings, but we first need spaces and to identify some high impact areas.”
Anna said the Bradley Sustainability Committee – made up of himself and several students – worked to improve recycling in residence halls last year, and has agreed to go as far as the student body would allow.
“This committee has really rolled up their sleeves and done a great job,” he said. “Now there is a higher level of accountability in the recycling because it is on every floor, and we know exactly who is hauling it away.”
There has also been interest from the greek community, Anna said, but those students would have to take most of the initiative on themselves.
“The greek system is independent units that collaborate,” he said. “We don’t collect their fees, we don’t determine their budgets, we just make sure they pass inspections. We can help bring them together and figure out the mechanics that would be necessary, but we will figure out more when they come back to us with more details. But the students in residence halls shouldn’t have to subsidize that [greek recycling].”
Bradley Sustainability Committee Member junior Tricia Anklan said the recycling management in place may have to adapt to a future, hopefully greener, campus.
“Recycling was managed by the green team, which was a group of students that emptied and transported every recycling bin on campus. Now the custodial staff empties them and puts everything in one central room that the students then collect and transport,” she said. “But you’d need so many student workers [for the academic buildings].”
The go-ahead for recycling in academic buildings will be finalizing space and training custodial staff, Anklan said.
“The first obstacle will be teaching the custodians how and where to recycle,” she said. “But the biggest challenge will be combating the perception that the garbage and the recycling end up in the same place.”
Residence halls recycling bins are being put to good use, Anklan said. But some students in the greek system said they are not yet willing to make recycling a regular part of their routine.
“What I’ve heard is something about a $25 to $30 charge per month for recycling, and why spend the money?” sophomore journalism major Ben Bean said. “Money is an issue in our house because we have so few members, and we go through so much garbage that it would be a tough adjustment to pick what gets recycled and what doesn’t.”
Bean said he believes most of the houses would not put in the effort and upkeep for a recycling system.
“It depends on the house,” he said. “The bigger houses who could afford this might not be willing to put in the extra effort for this. For us, money is truly a problem for us, but we probably just truly don’t care.”