Univ. employees see recycling efforts go to waste
Published: Tuesday, September 18, 2012
Updated: Tuesday, September 18, 2012 02:09
According to students who work in Dining Services, waste in recycling bins eventually ends up in the trash.
Rachel Bristol, a graduate student and employee of the university’s Dining Services, said the university puts out recycle bins at their catered events in order to give the impression that they are recycling.
“During training, we were told that it didn’t matter what bins we put things in, trash in the recycling or recycling in the trash, since it was all going to the same place,” Bristol said “On an average night, we throw away a couple cases of glass bottles. Everyone in catering and bartending is very open and casual about the fact that the university doesn’t recycle.”
Kevin Burkett, a university alumnus who worked at Rodney Dining Hall, said he also witnessed a lack of recycling on West Campus.
“There’s recycling bins in the dining hall, but most people don’t use them,” Burkett said. “If the university really cared, they’d have someone there enforcing it, but they obviously don’t [care].”
University spokeswomen Andrea Boyle stated in an email message that Dining Services is involved in reduce, reuse, recycle initiatives, as well as composting.
“A composting program is in place at Rodney Dining Hall and Clayton Hall, large university-catered events and football concessions,” Boyle said.
Composting turns organic waste like leaves and coffee grounds into useful products, while recycling takes manufactured items like bottles and cardboard and converts them to a new product, according to the National Geographic website.
The university did not comment in regards to recycling at university-catered events.
Junior Kathleen Grimes, president of Students for the Environment, said she was appalled to hear that the university may not recycle as much as their recycling program promotes.
“It’s upsetting that students are consciously recycling, but their efforts are going in vain,” Grimes said. “I think there’s an ignorance to how important recycling really is.”
Sophomore Jeff Swanson said he has witnessed a lack of environmental consciousness in the student body. Swanson said most students do not make a sufficient effort to recycle, and he thinks the university needs to be held accountable for not recycling.
“I think they are irresponsible because they claim to do all this recycling when they don’t,” Swanson said.
Mike Loftus, assistant director of grounds, stated in an email message that the trash and the recycling have been disposed of separately since 1991.
Loftus said claims that students have witnessed the university disposing of trash and recycling together are possibly the result of students mistaking the recycling and trash trucks as being one in the same.