Greek community fails to recycle effectively

By Grant Miller

While most private apartment complexes have contracted for recycling services, almost the entire greek community has failed to cultivate similar relationships according to members of a DeKalb recycling organization.

According to members of DeKalb’s Waste Management West organization, recycling on greek row has declined to almost nothing over the past few years.

Scott Ellenberger, formerly Waste Management West’s recycling coordinator for DeKalb said while many greek houses have recycling contracts with the organization, few actually actively recycle. Residences with recycling contracts are given containers to dispose of their recyclable materials on the days when the materials are picked up from the residences’ curb.

“Many of the houses participated early in the program,” he said. “But as time passed, fewer and fewer of the houses continued to participate.”

Derek DeGroot, operations manager for Waste Management West said many of the houses gradually lost interest. “The net effect of recycling in that area is pretty disastrous,” he said. “Nobody is recycling around there.”

DeGroot also said he hopes many of the houses do not begin recycling again. “The materials were never out on time, they would call saying they missed the pickup, and they would lose the containers a lot of the time,” he said.

DeGroot added, “Since they haven’t done it right, it makes it difficult for them to participate.”

DeGroot said often the recycling containers would be stolen, lost or simply used as trash cans.

DeGroot offered a solution of working with the Student Association’s (SA) recycling program. “The SA has a dynamite program,” he said. “The SA might want to include something with our company, perhaps something where we take the materials they collected,” DeGroot added, “It’s only an idea.”

Greek houses offered a different story.

Rich Daniels, president of Phi Sigma Kappa, said his house often talks about recycling problems in the greek community, but does not see any immediate support from Waste Management or the DeKalb Community.

“I don’t really see a pro-active stance on recycling in the greek community,” he said. “As college students, I feel we are concerned about issues like recycling, but the support just doesn’t seem to be there.”

Stephanie Edmunds, president of Alpha Delta Pi said her sorority has done extra work to get their recycling materials out and manages to recycle consistently.

The sorority has been recycling consistently for four years, Edmunds said. “We have a more defined system than when we first started,” she said. “We’ve been consistent all while we’ve been changing our recycling methods.”

Gerald Marrero president of Sigma Lambda Beta, admitted his house does not recycle a lot, he also said they are consistent in recycling newspapers. “We get the newspaper mailed here everyday,” he said.

“Since we are so close to Suburban Apartments, they let us dump our newspapers in their recycling bins,” he added.

Marrero said his house has recycled aluminum, glass and plastic in the past, but they rarely recycle these materials on a regular basis.

“Once in great while we will recycle some other materials,” he said. “But since we don’t have a contract we don’t do it that often.”