Recycling is a personal decision, but the University is trying to make that decision as easy as possible for everyone on campus. And the evidence suggests the efforts are paying off. In 2002, the University recycled around 7 percent of all campus waste, says Bob Sheeran, associate vice president for facility management. That percentage roughly doubled in 2003, then rose again in 2004.
Trash cans in all classroom buildings have been replaced with three-bin containers that specify “cans,” “paper” and “trash.” The University also recycles fluorescent light bulbs, electrical ballasts, oil and yard waste.
Sheeran points out that recycling has a two-fold benefit: It’s cost effective and environmentally responsible. But, he says, more can be done. “The biggest problem we’ve had is ‘contamination,’ where everybody throws their Burger King wrappers in there. When you get too much garbage mixed in with the recycling, it all becomes garbage.”