Students question SHU’s recycling efforts on campus

Greg Medina/Asst. Photography Editor

Greg Medina/Asst. Photography Editor

Seton Hall is known for its sports teams and Catholic mission, but apparently not its recycling.
“I hear a lot of rumors that Seton Hall doesn’t recycle,” said Laura Cavanagh, a sophomore social and behavioral sciences major.

There is no consensus among students on whether SHU recycles or not.

Richard Fields III, a senior liberal studies major and broadcasting minor, said he does not believe the University recycles, “because the amount of work it takes to recycle, Seton Hall is not willing to do.”

However, Kyle Pacla, a sophomore psychology major, believes SHU does do its part in going green.

Ecology club president Cassidy Martin said that she recalls the president of the ecology club in 2014 discovered that a Seton Hall worker threw all of the recycling in the trash after one piece of trash was found in the recycling bin. While this practice was a surprise to Martin, there is a reason for it.

According to John Signorello, associate vice president of Facilities Engineering, via an email interview, “Any material contaminated by food, like a stained pizza box, is garbage. Any garbage thrown in a recycle can cross contaminates the recycling and it all becomes garbage.”

Resident students “self-recycle” and at the first floor meeting of the year, it was the Resident Assistant’s responsibility to inform student residents what items to recycle and what bins they belong in, Resident Hall Director Samantha Sinclair said.

Diego Buitrago, a project manager hired by Temco Facility Services, which is a comprehensive facilities support service, said that housekeeping workers are instructed to line trash cans with black bags and recycling cans in clear bags.

According to the Resident’s Guide to Turrell and Ora Manor, which can be found on SHU’s website, in apartment style residence halls like these two there is a slightly different policy for trash and recycling. Unlike on-campus dorms, the manors do not have trash rooms, but bins and dumpsters in their parking lots. The Guide says, “Residents are responsible for the disposal of their trash and recycling items.”

“No one told me about the recycling bins until I saw them for myself,” said Olivia Xiao, a resident at Ora Manor. Xiao started living at Ora this semester, but has already noticed that some students do not know how to dispose of trash and recycling properly. She said that she recently saw a trash bag in a bin clearly labeled recycling.

The ecology club on campus states their mission is to promote environmental principles in college life. During the spring semester of 2016, the club decorated the wooden board outside the University Center, indicating items Seton Hall does and does not recycle.

This effort was made in hopes of educating the University population about proper recycling and preventing what is now understood as cross contamination.

“I wish [Seton Hall University] did a better a job to educate students and facility to properly recycle so that the recycling bins on campus are actually doing something,” Martin said.

Sarah Yenesel can be reached at

Author: Staff Writer

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