Throwing out trash in bins that are marked for recycling can undo a lot of good.
Just a single piece of non-recyclable waste tossed in a recycling bin filled with paper can result in the contents of the entire bin being tossed into the garbage, severely cutting into the University’s ability to recycle materials on campus, according to John Signorello, associate vice president of facilities and operations.
Signorello said that although he believes his department can do more to increase recycling at Seton Hall, the effort really begins with student participation.
“We are going to make the effort to be more diligent,” Signorello said in regard to recycling. “But we need community involvement.”
While recycling from bins on campus has had limited success as a result of contamination, Seton Hall has recycled through other outlets. Signorello said the school has recycled construction materials such as concrete, sheet metal and carpeting along with paper products from the library.
Signorello also said the University will begin using clear bags instead of black ones in recycling bins so employees can better determine whether the recyclables are usable or not.
To increase awareness of the realities of recycling, and the ease with which the effort can go awry, a public relations class in the Department of Communication and the Arts is taking on the Department of Facilities and Operations as a client.
“All it takes is one person to put trash in the recycling and it ruins the ability to recycle everything that is in that bin, and I find that so sad,” said Melissa May, the professor whose class will help the department boost its recycling efforts.
“It’s like that one bad apple does actually spoil the whole bunch in this case, so we need everyone to adhere to the recycling bins.”
May has reached out to several on-campus organizations on the issue, including the Student Government Association, with the hope of creating a culture change on campus. SGA is currently looking into the possibility of getting involved with the effort according to Ryan Kane, student government’s vice president. Timothy Hoffman, the SGA president, said he sees recycling as an essential part of the community.
“Recycling is really very important,” Hoffman said. “It takes personal initiative to get this done. Everyone needs to pitch in to move the campus forward in a more sustainable future.”
Clayton Collier can be reached at email@example.com.