Reduce, reuse, trash?

Lauren Young, Contributing Writer

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Reduce, reuse, recycle. It’s a phrase I’m sure many of us heard as early as elementary school. So why is it that now as college students, we are no longer being encouraged to recycle?

Is it that people simply can’t be bothered? Or is it because recycling bins are not easily accessible on campus. I think that it is a combination of the two things.

There are recycling bins in several locations around campus. However, they blend in with the regular trash cans. The recycling bins look exactly the same as the regular trash cans, the only difference being that the recycling cans have the little recycling symbol on them.

So how is this exactly supposed to encourage people to recycle? Exactly, it isn’t. As college students, so many of us are on the go from class to activities, etc. When we finish a bottle of water, soda, etc. most of us will likely just throw it in the next trash receptacle we see and not really pay attention to what it is for.

It really is a shame that more people don’t recycle their plastic bottles because plastic does not break down in landfills and it is one of the world’s biggest material pollutants.

I have been known to carry around a plastic bottle for hours if it meant getting it into a recycling bin, and while I have no control what happens to it from that point, I know that I did my part to ensure that plastic bottles do not end up in landfills.

An even larger waste epidemic on a college campus is the use and not recycling of paper. I have been at Bloomsburg for over a year now, and I can only name two locations where I have seen a recycling bin designated for paper.

These locations are in the computer lab in the Kehr Union and in the eating area in Soltz Hall outside of the bookstore. Most people can’t be bothered to go to those locations and quite frankly, I don’t blame them.

Recycling is not promoted in the dorms. I’ve spoken to several people on different occasions and more than one person has said that they didn’t even know there were recycling bins in the dorms. Whether this is due to their lack of observance or the subtle presence of such receptacles is up to you, but I feel that not encouraging recycling in the dorms is a huge disservice because of the amount of waste that is being produced here.

What happens to the cardboard boxes that all of the things we order comes in? That’s right, they go right into the garbage along with all of the other trash.

The thing that puzzles me the most is that most people probably recycle at home, so why not do it at college too?

It’s our home away from home and it is really not all that different in my opinion. Moral of the story is that next time you have an empty plastic bottle in your hand, it really wouldn’t hurt to consider where you are placing it.  

Lauren is a sophomore Graphic Design major. She is on the Program Board and a member of the Catholic Campus Ministry.