Rider University prides itself on constantly making strides to increase how green our campuses are. The residence hall West Village is certified silver in sustainability by Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED), and the new Cullen Center is expected to reach that level or higher. North Hall and the new BLC Theater have already been certified gold. Rider even has its own organic garden in addition to a solar field along I-95. Eco-Reps on both campuses teach us about sustainablity. The university works hard to remain eco-friendly.
Despite these efforts, we still have some problem areas that we need to work on together. When it comes to recycling, many students and faculty can be a little careless. Some really don’t think about recycling when they throw something away; they just toss it in the closest bin and go on with their day. Some don’t realize that many of the things that we throw away, such as Starbucks cups and sushi containers from Cranberry’s, can be recycled. (Straws and Pepsi cups, however, cannot.)
It’s obvious that we’re supposed to recycle things like bottles and cans, but some of us still ignore the proper receptacles for these things. An unsystematic look through trash cans and recycling bins around our campuses reveal that garbage and recyclables are thrown in both. If we simply took an extra few seconds to properly sort out our trash when we’re done with it, we could recycle much more and increase Rider’s eco-friendly lifestyle.
Some of the confusion is understandable. There are ways that the university and Eco-Reps can work with the faculty and students to encourage and help us properly recycle by showing them what can and cannot be recycled. A lot of the garbage and recycling cans are different colors and shapes throughout our campuses — some cranberry, some blue, some beige and some black — which can get confusing. Trash and recycling bags are supposed to be distinguished by color also. By making all of the trash and recycling cans and bags uniform in both color and type around both campuses and clarifying which items go in each, we could reduce confusion and promote recycling.
Plastic grocery bags are an issue. Subway uses plastic for sandwiches to go, and Cranberry’s offers optional plastic bags as well. Melissa Greenberg, Rider’s sustainablility manager, confirmed that these bags are not supposed to be thrown in the regular garbage or the recycling bins. Instead, they should be placed in their own proper receptacles commonly available at supermarkets. As of right now, Rider doesn’t yet have the receptacles available to dispose of the bags. Greenberg agrees that this is something we should look into getting in the future.
All of the leftover food in Daly’s is composted. However, receptacles are not clearly marked at other campus eateries. Making compost practical across the campuses could be one more benefit to the planet.
Students should also be more informed of what they can and cannot recycle or throw away. Signs should be placed above recycling bins to say what can go in each. Hopefully, with more knowledge and education, faculty and students would be more conscientious.
We’re definitely doing a lot better in that department in comparison to previous years. With a little more help and guidance, and a little more effort by faculty and students, we can make our already green campuses even greener.
The weekly editorial expresses the
majority opinion of The Rider News.
This week’s editorial was written by the Opinion Editor, Danielle Gittleman.
Printed in the 10/23/13 edition.