SEED, Residence Services to plant recycling bins this summer

William Schertz

With all of the pressures that come with being a college student, protecting the environment is a thought that often takes a backseat.

Students Eliminating Environmental Destruction is trying to bring it to the forefront again, starting with plans to put recycling bins in each individual residence hall room this summer to make recycling more convenient.

Residence Services, working with SEED, recently used leftover funds from this year’s budget to purchase 3,786 recycling bins, Associate Director of Residence Services Robin Gagnow said.

Putting bins in the rooms will not cost students extra money and should help to save more money for the university in trash removal costs Gagnow said.

Brad Davis, member of SEED and freshman fine arts major, said the purpose of this campaign is to make recycling easier for residents.

“I think most of the students are willing to recycle as long as it’s not something that’s too far out of their way,” Davis said. “I think if they’re in arm’s reach, they’ll recycle more.”

Davis, who is scheduled to run the recycling campaign next year, said SEED will also print pamphlets and work with Kent Interhall Council to raise awareness about recycling.

“I think that it’s a very wise use of money,” said Michael McDonald, director of Campus Environment and Operations.

According to the Portage County Solid Waste District, more than 20 tons of recyclable material comes out of the university each month. Grounds keeping supervisor Steve Renner said another 45 to 50 tons of corrugated cardboard is removed from campus monthly.

In light of these numbers, McDonald said he has noticed that students seem to be getting gradually less concerned about recycling.

“What I do worry about is we’re beginning to fade,” he said.

McDonald said most students simply do not think about recycling, and instead they tend to throw everything away.

“I just don’t think about it,” said Jessica Straub, freshman education major. “I don’t look at plastic bottles and newspapers and see what they could be made into. I just see garbage, so I throw it away.”

Straub said recycling is not promoted very well on campus. McDonald agreed with her.

“More attention needs to be brought to recycling on campus,” McDonald said. “There’s a number of organizations that could make an impact if they wanted to.”

Contact building and grounds reporter William Schertz at [email protected].