Biology professors said the recycling problem may result in financial reparations, only to result in a false alarm.
The University’s recycling program is meeting its goals, Robert Beebe, assistant director of facilities management said.
Rumors circulated that student and faculty’s lack of education with regards to recycling and other minor problems with the way the bins were positioned would result in the University losing out on meeting their recycling goal.
Beebe said that talk concerning the University possibly being fired if a standard is not met is a rumor.
“There are no fines that are going to be imposed on the University,” Beebe said.
Beebe stated that the recycling program, which was created by Facilities Management, with the cooperation of PSI Consulting firm, saved $40,000 in its first year.
“The state recognized us with the WRAP award which is a waste reduction award program,” Beebe said. “There were only four educational institutional that received that award.”
This program satisfies the environmental awareness that is stated in ULV’s mission statement: “The University affirms a philosophy of life that actively supports the health of the planet and its people…It also seeks to promote appreciation of biodiversity by helping students understand the impact/dependence of human beings on their environment.”
The PSI Consulting firm paid for the necessary equipment enabling the University to recycle without having to pay for it directly. The University repays the organization for the equipment through the proceeds of the recycling that it produces.
With the recycling program reaching the 50 percent diversion rate, the University debt to the organization is decreasing.
“We used to throw a lot of stuff away, but the waste stream has now decreased,” said Robert Neher, professor of biology. “And mainly it’s because of students and faculty that realized it’s important to do that.”
In order to relieve any confusion concerning the trash being correctly sorted, signs have been posted on many of the recycling bins outlining what can be placed in what bin.
Bins are now closer to each other, allowing the people to throw away their trash in the right container without having to find it.
“We think this is going to make a difference because it gives you the alternative,” Neher said.
What can be placed in the recycling bin includes all paper and plastics.
“It doesn’t matter if everyone does a good job by sorting,” Jones said. “It only takes one person to contaminate the entire sort.”
Objects that cannot be placed in the recycling bin include Styrofoam or any polystyrene material, soiled containers and used tissue.
“People need to understand if they don’t sort, they are a part of the problem,” Jones said. “What you do, makes a difference.”
Recycling plastics is considered more important, since plastic generally does not degrade rapidly.
“In fact, some of the original plastic that was produced back in the 1950s, are still circulating in the ocean,” Jones said.
Furthermore, Neher accredits natural science courses, including Core 340, in enlightening students in regards to the environmental problem.
“I hope we can influence people into making the right decisions,” Neher said. “When you really understand the concept that everything is interconnected, it changes your mind set in what you are supposed to be doing.”
Andres Rivera can be reached at email@example.com.