Recycling Takes a Collective Effort

Wendy Peters

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The easiest way to do your part is to simply, recycle. Courtesy of MCT

The CSUN community has about 200 recycling bins throughout campus and with a number of food courts and trash bins, this creates a draw for scavengers around campus who have become eyesores.

Recycling has become quite a big business especially in larger communities and with the economy’s slow recovery, more people search for ways to make money. But they are not just in our neighborhoods but on college campuses, wandering around, digging in trash cans in search of aluminum cans, glass bottles, plastic containers or anything they can exchange for money at the local recycling center and this leaves a lot to be desired.

In spring of 1991 in a cooperative effort between Associated Students (A.S.) and the university administration, CSUN started a recycling program. This effort has enabled the campus to separate recyclables from the university’s waste stream and promote and educate others on the benefits of recycling but I doubt we anticipated the entrepreneurs who have swooped down on our campus to profit from our efforts.

Nevertheless, the A.S. Campus Recycling Services offer a number of other ways to recycle and we should all help continue the effort. The cell phones eclipsed by the latest model just sitting around collecting dust can be deposited in special bags or regular campus envelopes and dropped off in the campus mail or simply contact ursrr@csun.edu to get that old relic off your hands and out of the landfills.

There is also a paper recycling program available to the staff and faculty but there should also be a blue recycling bin in classrooms for students to utilize as well. Most tasks are made easier through accessibility and access to blue recycling bins in the classroom makes it easy for students to discard paper products.

For the graduation and retirement parties that will be planned this year, there are special services the A.S. offers for recyclable stuff. Do not just throw away those old term papers or memos crowding your existence for the last few years, unburden yourself by contacting the A.S. for recycling services.

On average, the campus recycles about 30,000 pounds per month in paper, plastic and bottle products and the revenue from that effort is recycled back into the program. In addition, we have a 30-yard green waste bin (one-quarter the size of a football field), specifically for food waste. If we all did our share, we can maximize the revenue to the campus and minimize the losses there as well.

Be the designated recycler among your peers and take hold of that soda can or plastic bottle and deposit it wisely because, after all, someone needs to take the wheel on the recycling effort and it can be you.

The loss, however minimal, comes when we unwittingly place recyclable materials in the regular trash bins and allow scavengers to reap the profits and the failure to consider that paper is not only used and disposed of by faculty and staff but students alike, produces a loss in the effort as well.

Continuing to maximize our efforts to sustain the recycling program on campus will go a long way in realizing the goals set forth in 1991 with the initiative by the A.S. and the university administration.
For more ways to help in the recycling effort on campus, go to www.csunas.org/recycle.