America Recycles Day comes to CSUN

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Associated Students and its University Recycling Program will continue their participation in America Recycles Day today as it again sets up a booth outside the University Student Union to recruit students to participate in recycling.

Throughout the year, A.S. promotes recycling through flyers, banners, and signs posted all over campus. Today and Monday, however, a booth was set up outside the USU and students were recruited as pledges to step up their recycling efforts.

The annual America Recycles Day is held every Nov. 15, and last year, residents in every state participated. The America Recycles Day organization is a national non-profit, all-volunteer organization that started in 1997.

“We’ll be doing this for two days – (Monday and today),” said Mike Kim, one of the students promoting the recycling pledges in the booth on Monday. “Our main purpose is to get as many pledges as we can for these two days.”

According to Cynthia Signett, recycling coordinator for A.S., about 240 pledge bags were given out to students on Monday. Organizers have about 260 bags left for Tuesday’s pledge efforts, she said.

When each person signs up for a pledge, that person gets a chance to win some prizes through a contest America Recycles Day is hosting, Kim said. Students are asked to make a commitment to purchase recycled-content products, then to increase their own recycling efforts, Signett said.

According to studies compiled by the American Recycles Day organization, the United States’ composting and recycling rate is now up to 30 percent, which is more than double the amount from 30 years ago.

This year’s grand prize for adults is Ford Motor Company’s Escape Hybrid. The grand prize awarded to youth is the Trek Model 4300, 24-speed bicycle, which is made from five recycled aluminum contents.

In addition to these prizes, people are educated on the large-scale benefits of recycling, such as helping the environment around the community, Kim said.

Kim said that whatever trash a person recycles makes a difference in the environment because there is less trash buried in those landfills.

“I think our promotion on recycling really works,” Kim said. “I mean, as far as CSUN goes, there seems to be a dramatic change in the amount of people who recycle on campus, from what I’ve seen.”

Kim said he recycles every day.

“I’ve got a big bin at home, for all my cans, bottles and whatever else can be recycled,” Kim said. “It’s always in use.”

Other students who signed up at the booth gave their thoughts on recycling, and the reason they pledged that day.

“Recycling first started off as a project I was working on,” said Stacey Petersen, communication studies major, referring to a project she worked on for a class at CSUN. “But as time went on with this project, I’ve been more eager to promote recycling, and help others recycle their stuff regularly. It’s become more important to me.”

Some students were drawn to the recycling campaign because of its national reach.

“Well, I’ve been recycling all my life already anyway,” said Marco Peterson, communication studies major. “At home, here, I recycle practically every day. I figured it wouldn’t hurt to sign up with this national campaign that’s being held.”

Some students, however, came to the booth for free items that were given away, along with the chance of being able to win the Ford Escape Hybrid.

“I made the pledge because I saw them giving away stuff and heard that you could win a car,” Lisa Joseph, music major.

A.S. will continue its America Recycles Day campaign today near the entrance of the USU from 11a.m. to 2 p.m.

Mark Solleza can be reached at mark.solleza.950@csun.edu.