Recycling efforts slowly expanding on campus

Nizhoni Terronez

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Alexis Martinez, biology freshman, poses for a photo putting her water bottles in the recycling bin behind the dorm halls.  Photo illustration by Rachel Johnson | The Wichitan

Alexis Martinez, biology freshman, poses for a photo putting her water bottles in the recycling bin behind the dorm halls.
Photo illustration by Rachel Johnson | The Wichitan

Orange and blue bins can be found scattered all around campus, everywhere from Fain to Bolin. Many students may be unaware that these bins are one way they can help keep their environment garbage free.

“About a year-and-a-half ago we put in these orange dumpsters around to improve the amount of recycling,” said Kyle Owen, faculties services associate vice president. “Then we added the blue bins in Prothro-Yeager and now faculty over there dump their trash into those containers. That’s also what they’re doing in Bolin and Fain Fine Arts.”

The blue recycling bins only take certain materials, whereas the orange bins on campus take all recyclables except styrofoam, food, wood and electronics, but electronics can be brought to D.L. Ligon Coliseum room 134.

Owen said that the recycling process has been slow, but recycling bins are spreading all over campus.

“It used to just be Fain and then Bolin,” Owen said. “It’s slow but it seems like a every year another building joins in.”

As far as water conservation goes, Owen said that has been a process that has been happening over time. Midwestern State University owns wells and uses that water to take care of the soccer and  football fields. Reverse osmosis water is used for the softball fields as well.

“When we renovate buildings we put in low-flow fixtures, shower-heads and faucets with aerators on them so they don’t use much water,” Owen said “Last spring we put in the wells so we would be able to water the athletic fields and then we added a reverse osmosis unit.”

Associate Geoscience Professor Rebecca Dodge said she hopes more environmental and recycling projects will take place on campus once again.

“In the past the geoscience program has done an electronics recycling event where people brought an entire 18 wheeler truck full of electronic equipment and recycled it,” Dodge said. “We’re planning on having the event once again during Earth Day in April. Our students are very involved in recycling.”

One such recycling-conscious student is Phil Cooper, environmental science senior.  Cooper said a fellow student inspired him to start a recycling project in the Collin Park apartments near campus.

“Another student named Dave Thomas had brought in all these plastic bottles into work,” Cooper said. “So I asked him where he got all those bottles from, and he told me that one person had collected all these bottles in two weeks.  I thought to myself ‘we’re environmentalists, so why aren’t we doing something like this?”

Cooper said he then met with President of the Caribbean Students Organization Donna-Lisa Nelson and Dodge to begin his undertaking. With the help of Dodge, Cooper hopes that the bins will be in Collin Park sometime in December.

“I got the pins up, and Dodge is the one helping me knock them down,” Cooper said. “Ultimately what I wanted was to get a recycling bin in Collin Park. I was surprised by the amount of support and feedback I’ve gotten from other students. I didn’t realize that there was so many people that cared.”

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