Apathetic students throwing trash in recycling bins is creating an environmental problem at WC.
Trash mixed with recycling causes the entire container to become trash because the recycling crews will not pick it up.
This problem is why, for the past few years, they have stopped recycling in the Cove.
"People seem interested in recycling, but what people say and do are two different things," said sophomore Samantha Bulkilvish, campus Recycling Coordinator, about the number of students who recycle and the campus' attitudes about recycling.
The problem isn't that it is not available, but that people do not recycle or they do not use the bins correctly.
Recycling is available on campus in all dorms for cans, paper, plastic and glass bottles, and is picked up Tuesday mornings after bins are taken out to the nearest curb by residents on Monday nights.
Paper, including phone books, newspapers and junk mail, can be put in bins with the other recyclables but must be covered so it does not blow away or get wet, or it will not be taken.
The dining hall only has a compost can, where they dump their excess food, which is a different category of recycling.
Paper or cardboard can also be recycled when put in paper bags or bundled with string, then taken to the Kent County Recycling Center, a shed next to the Human Resources building, or placed in the Shred-It bins in the mailroom.
Thinner cereal box type cardboard cannot be recycled. You can take your plastic bags to Superfresh, and drop off empty ink cartridges in drop off boxes in the mailroom and the Cove, a resource sponsored by the Student Environmental Alliance.
Bulkilvish said, "I don't think people understand what good recycling does."
The Department of Environmental Protection Recycling said recycling saves natural resources, energy, helps the environment, and benefits the economy by decreasing waste production.
They continue to state that waste and lack of recycling contributes to problems like global warming, hazardous waste, loss of rain forests, endangered species, acid rain, and the ozone layer.
"The Student Environmental Alliance promotes recycling by giving out key chains, magnets and doing activities to make everyone excited and aware of recycling," said Cynthia Sebian-Lander, former Recycling Coordinator and current Secretary of Service Learning for the SGA.
The Environmental Alliance has not planned activities yet this year, but hopes to better educate the campus about recycling as the year goes on.
Sebian-Lander and Bulkilvish said they do not think the current recycling system is bad, pointing out that there is no staff help and it is completely student run. They do believe getting more of the student body willing to help the recycling process would improve the amount that is recycled.
Contact Samantha Bulkilvish at firstname.lastname@example.org for questions, comments, concerns, or about how you can help.