The push for more recycling on campus

By Briana Busby— 

Opinion Editor 

Tarleton State University recently recycled a record 238 tons of garbage – and is taking steps to recycle even more, says Hector Davis, the university’s environmental health and safety coordinator. 

Bottles, cans and paper can be recycled in some 400 depositories around campus, Davis says. 

Some students say, however, the university could do a better job of promoting its recycling program. 

“I don’t think many people use the recycling side of the trash can, because, one, they don’t understand the importance of it and two, it’s not publicized by the campus to use them,” Sarah Tracey, a junior nursing major, said. “Tarleton could easily just promote recycling around campus and on social media.” 

Tracey is also upset by students who don’t care about the environment. When recycling was brought up in one of her classes last year, Tracey said some students said they don’t recycle because ‘‘the planet’s dying anyway’’ or “‘we won’t be here,’’ 

“It’s very troubling and concerning, Tracey said.” 

Davis says, “letting people know where and what they can recycle and making it as easy as possible are the best things you can do to help prompt individuals to recycle.” 

“I personally think (it would help) if there were maybe environmental speakers every semester or even flyers around campus promoting recycling and being more aware,” Tracey said. 

Davis agrees. 

“The Environmental Advisory Council is currently working on a map to show where recycle drop-off points are around campus, as well as a communication piece to share with the campus and Stephenville community to help get the word out about recycling at Tarleton,” he said.  

Davis also believes that the organizations on campus could help promote recycling.  

“Student organizations could also play a major role in helping by sponsoring activities around campus and the surrounding community, as well as partnering with community businesses to help them divert their recyclables into Tarleton’s program,” Davis said. 

Tracey believes that the main issue with recycling is that people don’t realize that such a simple choice can make such a large impact on the future.  

“I also believe this problem stems from Stephenville as a community because there are no (recycling) services provided to homes and other recycling options aren’t well publicized,” Tracey said. 

Davis says the city’s waste hauler has a drop-off point for recyclables, but it’s not well advertised.  He said Tarleton’s recycling center, located on the College Farm Road, is open to the public and accepts paper, metal, cardboard and plastics. 

According to Davis, Tarleton “has grown its program from recycling an average of 140 tons from the 2012-2013 fiscal year and in 2017, it grew to 238 tons.” 

He says the recycling program tries to be proactive by “placing bins for activities that may produce large amounts of recyclables, and information is shared about the program on events such as Earth Day, Tarleton Roundup and the Bosque River Cleanup.”  

“We are constantly looking for ways to make the operation more efficient and are working to get the word out at more university and student organization functions so that the campus and community has more opportunity to participate,” he added. 

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