Recycling bins and posters have recently popped up around campus, but recycling isn’t new to the university.
“I noticed that even though we have recycling bins on campus… No one was using them.”Edwina Hall
“Recycling has always been on campus,” said Edwina Hall, an Administrative Assistant at Facilities and Safety Services.
“I noticed that even though we have recycling bins on campus… No one was using them. No one was emptying them” said Hall. Yet Florida Poly’s contract with Republic Services, it’s former waste management provider, included both regular garbage service as well as recycling.
The only thing the university had been recycling at the time was cardboard. “I found that we in fact had been paying for single-stream recycling but hadn’t utilized that service,” said Hall. As for why, she concluded, “At some point[,] the dumpster was swapped out… for one that was cardboard only.”
“The only thing that goes… to the compactor is the nonrecyclables. Well, that’s the only thing that’s supposed to go out there.”Edwina Hall
The contract with Republic Services had expired and the refuse supplier was changed to Advanced Disposal. They originally offered the university a cardboard only recycling option but after some back and forth, Advanced Disposal was able to provide single-stream recycling through Republic Services’ Material Recovery Facility (MRF).
There are two recycling dumpsters behind the wellness building – one for cardboard, the other for single stream Hall described. “The only thing that goes… to the compactor is the nonrecyclables. Well, that’s the only thing that’s supposed to go out there.”
“Anything in a bag… goes directly to the landfill pile.”Edwina Hall
In her talks with WFF, the custodial provider for the university, “they aren’t seeing a lot of student participation right now. They see a lot of nonrecyclables such as banana peels, apple cores, things like that in the recycling bins,” Hall noted. Additionally, it’s challenging to collect recyclables from the IST and the SDC and get them to the recycling dumpsters behind wellness without using bags.
The MRF won’t accept any waste in a bag. “Anything in a bag regardless of blue bag or not goes directly to the landfill pile,” Hall stressed.
Recycling actually saves the university money. Currently, the university pays for transportation, landfill fees, and tonnage for the regular garbage. Recycling, on the other hand, is a flat amount for transportation only regardless of tonnage. Don’t get carried away though, as it’s better to trash a recyclable, then try to recycle something that’s not as it could contaminate other recyclables. “When in doubt, throw it in the trash.”
Hall gave some tips on how to be more environmentally friendly as a student:
- Don’t litter. Form a group or create a competition to pick up litter.
- Use reusable shopping bags or gift bags.
- Use reusable drink and lunch containers.
- Use eco-friendly school supplies.
- Reduce Energy consumption.