Recycling success so far is just the beginning

Student Association Recycling would like to thank the university for a successful semester of recycling. Our mission has been to create an awareness of the benefits of waste reduction and recycling, and we have seen this done by the increased participation of recycling, especially during the year.

Once a week we receive a call from an office on campus that would like to start an office recycling program, and we often have more. The most successful story is that the residence halls have a great turnout every Saturday when we do pickups there. The pilot program set up in Stevenson South and Neptune has been very successful, and it needs to be expanded to all of the residence halls.

S.A. Recycling has an operational goal, which is to make recycling participation as comprehensive and convenient as traditional trash disposal. We are collecting 11 different types of recyclables. These include plastics #1,2, & 6 (including styrofoam), newspaper, mixed paper, computer paper, aluminum, steel, tin and glass, milk and juice boxes, laser printer cartridges and dry-cell batteries. We have over 70 recycling locations throughout the university that are collected regularly, and we also operate a 24 hour drop-off center that is located behind Stevenson Towers.

S.A. Recycling is one of the only recycling programs in Illinois that is run and operated by students only. Despite the low-tech and economical ways that we operate, we have one of the most successful university recycling programs in the state. We save the university approximately $11,000 in waste disposal fees a year, and considering the environmental aspect we have saved about 1200 cubic yards of landfill space in one year at the DeKalb County recycling landfill.

But we can’t stop here. Currently we are only recycling approximately 8 to 10 percent of the waste generated. The new “College Recycling Law” requires each Illinois public university and community college to have a 40 percent reduction in the solid waste destined for landfill disposal. By January 1, 1995 we have to design a plan to achieve this goal, while the reduction has to be accomplished by the year 2000.

We are now thinking of creative ways to expand recycling on campus as well as getting the word out that recycling is available. The three R’s: Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle need to be implemented in every office and department on campus in order to succeed in the 40 percent waste reduction.

We can help start an office mixed paper program or help a residence hall floor start a program. We have educational material available and we also do presentations about recycling or other environmental topics. If anyone would like to volunteer, we always need help at the recycling center on Saturdays. For more information about S.A. Recycling, please call us at 753-9920.