A CSUN student held a three-day event in 1990 as part of a celebration of Earth Day, which in turn helped change the recycling program on campus.
Cyndi Signett started working full time after graduation for the University Recycling Services in 1992. At the time, there were paper-recycling bins in three buildings on campus. Signett has helped expand the bins to the entire campus, including the dormitories.
“All my life, I have recycled at home,” Signett said.
Signett joined with students and staff members who either work or volunteer with the University Recycling Services on Thursday for America Recycles Day.
Students were invited to fill out a pledge-to-recycle form, which registered them for a chance to win a free iPod.
Everyone who pledged to recycle was given a goodie bag filled with recycled school supplies and information about recycling on campus. Selected bags included a coupon for a T-shirt or a reusable tote bag.
“They are doing a fantastic job,” said Signett of the volunteers and workers outside the bookstore promoting the students of the recycling services on campus.
“It’s good education for the students to participate,” Signett said. “Even if it’s only an hour, that’s wonderful.”
CSUN now has many types of recycling bins around campus, from paper to beverage containers, because of students’ work.
“We’re trying to accommodate people the best that we can,” Signett said.
The recycling program plans to have outdoor recycling bins on campus at the end of the spring semester, Signett said.
“Universities are like small cities. We have all the services,” Signett said. “Students need to be out there recycling.”
Pamela Guaicochea, a junior who works in the collections at the recycling program, does it because “it is a very good way to get involved in the school.”
“It’s a very small way that you can help out,” Guaicochea said. “It’s our planet, and if we don’t take care of it, no one else will.”
Some students at CSUN “don’t do anything to inform themselves,” Guaicochea said.
America Recycles Day is one of the events the recycling program has to educate people about their services on campus, as well as ways students can help the environment.
“Some students don’t want to deal with it,” said Adrian De La Rosa, a full-time Recycling Field Supervisor on campus. “If we get one student educated, we did our job.”
De La Rosa practices recycling at home with his children so they can grow up educated about its importance.
“I want my children to still see trees and mountains when they grow up,” De La Rosa said. “Right now, it does not look good.”
Politicians such as former Vice President Al Gore have been trying to persuade more Americans to become involved in environmental issues.
“Al Gore’s movie have helped open a lot of doors,” De La Rosa said.
Overall, “politicians don’t do enough,” De La Rosa said. “Right now, it has to do a lot with the economy and not with the environment.”
The California League of Conservative Voters (CLCV) released the 2007 Environmental Scorecard on Nov. 13. The scorecard showed the political involvement in environmental issues.
Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger scored 63 percent on legislative measures, while several Democrats received 100 percent scores.
Two greenhouse gas emission bills introduced to the California Senate, SB 375 and SB 974, won’t be voted on until next year.
“There’s a lot going on in the world. Things get worse everyday. We have to do something now,” De La Rosa said.
America recycles 32 percent of its garbage. This rate is nearly double that of 15 years ago.
CSUN students, however, aren’t showing enough support of the recycling services on campus, De La Rosa said.
“They don’t recycle enough,” De La Rosa said. “The resources are there, but they don’t know CSUN has a program.”
De La Rosa’s goal is to “have everyone self-conscious about recycling.”
Aside from recycling, students are doing other things to help the environment.
Not driving a car and carpooling with others is one way sophomore geography major and University Recycling Services Team Leader Pricila Silva-Hoggan is helping out.
“Not having a car definitely helps,” Silva-Hoggan said. “Hybrid vehicles are a wonderful trend.”
“It would be nice if we could cut back on C02 emissions,” Silva-Hoggan said. “There’s a lot of political red tape that limits us from doing more.”
People aren’t aware of the importance of recycling, Silva-Hoggan said.
“It will be more natural if you grew up in a environment that recycled,” Silva-Hoggan said. “I have always cared about the environment because it involves my career,” Silva-Hoggan said.
The University Recycling Services recycles bottles, cans, paper, cardboard, pallets, cell phones, inkjet and laser toner cartridges.
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