Does this sound familiar? Imagine three arrows forming a Möbius strip that typically is green with a black outline. Have you guessed it? That’s right, it’s the recycling symbol, prevalent on many products lining the shelves of our supermarkets today. Man-made waste has become a pressing issue, with America’s trash production increasing each year and overflowing in landfills. These landfills are negatively impacting people and the environment. Waste needs to be reduced, or even better, recycled.
Rider has committed itself to making recycling convenient, but you must take the initiative. Start by sorting your trash.
There are multi-compartmental, cranberry-colored garbage containers across campus for sorting trash before it gets hauled away. Clearly labeled, the garbage containers have a circular opening for plastic, aluminum and glass. The elongated opening is for paper and cardboard, and the largest opening is for all other non-recyclable trash. Likewise, a similar sorting system exists in the residence hall trash rooms.
Within each residence hall, trash rooms are equipped with three separate receptacles. These bins, however, are not conventionally labeled. Using these containers effectively starts in your dorm room.To make recycling quick and hassle-free, using multiple bins is invaluable. If each roommate owns a trash bin, designate one bin for all recyclables and the other for all non-recyclables.
After sorting your trash into multiple bins, you just need to dispose of it correctly. With the color coding system, gray bins with black bags are for non-recyclables; yellow bins with blue bags are for plastic, aluminum and glass; and green bins with clear-colored bags are for paper. Fortunately, Rider participates in “single-stream recycling,” so as long as your recyclables are put into a yellow or green bin, they won’t end up in a landfill.
Furthermore, Terracycle has become a big component of sustainable dorming. With lime green buckets located in each bathroom, Terracycle’s Health and Beauty Brigade takes your cosmetic and toiletry “empties” and upcycles them into a product of higher quality or value. The ordinary products you dispose of into these bins get turned into extraordinary pieces of outdoor benching, tables and fencing. Cigarette butts on campus also get sent to Terracycle for use in the making of fertilizers.
With the holidays approaching, it is the perfect time of year to give back to those who are less fortunate. Fill up Community Recycles bins with your unwanted clothing. If you’re looking to find your “sole-mate,” leave a note in a pair of donated shoes and you can connect with the new owner. Techno trash buckets collect your electronic waste ranging from CD’s to cables to cameras and cellphones, while Better World Books collects your unwanted books.
The last, and my absolute favorite, form of personal recycling at Rider is the Pepsico Dream Machine. Located in the bustling SRC, the bright blue,vending-like machine is an alternative to conventional recycling. By signing up at www.pepsicorecycling.com, people can deposit their empty bottles and cans into the machine. It’s as simple as signing in and scanning your items. For each item, Pepsico supports veterans with disabilities while you get points in return that are redeemable online for free offers and coupons. The school that increases its recycling the most over the last year will win $25,000 to be used towards a concert this spring. That’s right, recycling equals a free concert, and with recycling, every single item counts. It’s one less item heading to our already overflowing landfills.
In honor of its celebration this past week, I’d like to wish you all a happy belated America Recycles Day.
Printed in the 11/19/14 issue.