Recycling programs not exclusive to NIU

By AJ Edwards

DeKalb and NIU actively participate in recycling, but it seems not everybody got the message.

According to DeKalb’s Solid Waste and Recycling Collection Guide, Waste Management collects the city’s garbage and recycling in designated areas on Wednesdays, Thursdays and Fridays.

Driving through DeKalb on all three days both morning and evening, I was amazed at the lack of recycling bins on the side of the curb ready for pickup.

“I think everyone should be aware of recycling,” said senior journalism major Jessica Fenner. “We should put in a little more effort to keep the world and our town clean.”

Unfortunately, it seems as though there are many residents of DeKalb who do not share this awareness. I asked 20 students who lived in DeKalb if they knew NIU and DeKalb offer recycling. Of the 18 students who knew NIU recycles, only five of them knew DeKalb does, too.

“I recycle as much as possible,” Fenner said. “Recycling doesn’t take too much effort.”

While Fenner’s words are true, some places make recycling a bit of a hassle. The apartment I live at offers recycling to its tenants, yet the receptacle is rather hard to find. It’s located in an area that is in between the two major properties the managers own, making some residents lug their recycling more than 500 feet.

If they were to place more bins throughout the properties, more residents may be willing to help the cause. Recycling has many benefits not only for our generation, but for future generations.

According to the Environmental Protection Agency, recycling reduces the amount of waste sent to landfills and incinerators, helps sustain the environment and creates new jobs in the recycling and manufacturing industries in the United States.

We need to think of ways to help spread the message about NIU and our city’s recycling programs to help students and residents become more aware.

It seems as though those bright blue bins outside classrooms are not enough of a heads up.

While NIU does a lot to keep recycling in our community strong, students need to pick up the slack and do their part.

It seems like every day there are empty water bottles or soda cans in trash cans or lying on the concrete outside of campus buildings. If only half of the students who walk in and out of any building on campus picked up one can or recyclable and placed them in the appropriate containers, this would not be a problem. There are a number of recycling bins located in every building on campus.

It’s time all of us take on the initiative and help support NIU and DeKalb’s recycling program.

Pick up the garbage on campus, ask apartment complexes to increase the number of recyclable receptacles and spread the message. Recycling takes a small amount of effort to provide our world with a big future.