By Catalina Righter
Director of Central Services Beverly Nickerson said, “We receive 200 plus packages per day for students. In the past, boxes have been left all over the place in the [Casey Academic Center (CAC)] and it has become an unsightly mess.” This was the problem that prompted Central Services to install a new cardboard box recycling center, which is aimed at reducing both the mess and the carbon footprint created by un-recycled packages.
The station, located just outside of the package pick up area in the CAC, consists of a work area with scissors and other materials. When students receive a package from Central Services, they can conveniently open their packages and recycle unnecessary packing materials in this area. Rather than throwing the boxes away or leaving them haphazardly around the student mailbox area as students have done before, Central Services asks that they flatten the boxes and place them in a designated slot under the preparation counter.
This courtesy hopes to reduce the mess of boxes in the CAC. “Many prospective students and visitors travel through the CAC on a daily basis and we needed to come up with a solution to keep the building looking neat and presentable,” Nickerson said. “The recycling station is a result of much brainstorming and discussion within the Central Services personnel frustrated with having to constantly clean up these messes.”
Further, the flattened boxes are available to all for reuse, which is more cost-effective and environmentally sound than purchasing a new box for shipping. Nickerson said to students in a student-wide email, “Do your part in reducing your carbon footprint.”
According to usedcardboardboxes.com, a company that collects and resells cardboard boxes from industrial companies that produce and use them in large volume, “Many people think using a cardboard box once and sending it to the traditional recyclers is the most responsible way to help the environment. In fact, most boxes that are sent to recyclers are actually being prematurely terminated.”
While un-recycled cardboard will break down in landfills, throwing them in the trash still creates a need for new boxes to be made. “The process of recycling cardboard boxes requires a great deal of energy, chemicals and emissions that have their own negative impact on our environment – not to mention all the trees that still have to be cut down to make new boxes (even if they are advertised as containing some recycled content),” according to usedcardboardboxes.com.