UT Students Stand Up For the Environment

I am from a place where they have recycling bins in public parks, but not trash cans. My home state charges a deposit on bottles and cans to ensure that people are held accountable for their waste.

When I walk into a class room at Oregon State University, I see one small trash can, and two enormous recycling bins labeled paper and plastic.

Coming from an environmentally friendly state, I was absolutely shocked to learn that an organization like Recycle UT had to provide the impetus for something so obvious: the importance of recycling on campus.

Now that I am in Florida, I notice a large difference in philosophies when it comes to our natural resources.

I am not saying that people in Florida don’t have a social conscience, but I have seen a large difference in the actions and policy decisions which imply a lack of respect for conservation in contrast to Oregon.

Even though most people I’ve spoke with aren’t aware, there is recycling available on campus. I walked out the side door of Straz to randomly find 3 blue bins close to the bleachers by the soccer field.

What surprised me was when I opened it, it was practically empty aside from a few spent McDonald’s wrappers along with some other items that were obviously refuse. There was also a minimal amount of recyclables spliced in with the trash.

One reason that identifying a recycling bin around here may be difficult is because there is a distinct lack of exposure to what a recycling program should look like.

How seriously would you take the school if the campus claimed to care about security and then hired one guard armed with an inflatable mallet for the entire campus? You would probably notice keggers being held out in the middle of the soccer field.

I don’t understand why the school would put such an inadequate and unpublicized system in place when it is very aparent that we need a more comprehensive way to conserve our natural resources.

I like to believe that most individuals wouldn’t intentionally sabotage our environment.

Maybe some people might look at a landfill and see nothing but a future golf course, but those delusional souls are usually counting on the Apocalypse to come soon, and for Jesus to teleport them to a place of unlimited resources.

For the rest of us, there is recycling.

The only entities enjoying this inefficiency are the non-renewable paper, plastic, and metal industries. I’m sure most of us recognize that this campus is an overwhelming supporter of those businesses with the number of beer bottles and cans you’ll find in the trash receptacles at residence halls.

These reasons are why there is a club in the early stages of forming called Recycle UT. The agenda is to set up a expansive way of recycling that would minimize the excessive amounts of effort that it takes for students to be socially responsible and recycle here on campus.

I love to recycle, it makes me feel like I’m accomplishing something against the tyrannical consumerism that surrounds me in my life. But even though I want to make a difference, you will not see me digging through my trash can to fish out recyclables.

In order to promote a healthy recycling program here on campus, I believe we need to have recycling bins in every room on campus.

Where there is a trash can, there should also be a recycling bin.

I would like to see one large enough to hold a good amount of material, but too small to be used as a trash can so all those nihilists out there in the residence halls would be stifled.

Right now is a good time to show your support of Recycle UT’s objectives. If you are interested in volunteering some time, or even just signing a petition, I would love to hear from you.

Group meetings are now scheduled at 8 p.m., Wednesdays in Plant Hall (tentatively). We have had a great turn out so far, but more are always welcome.

Otherwise track me down on Facebook, and I’ll be happy to get you in contact with the rest of the group. For the rest of you, keep your eyes peeled for the blue containers popping up in your room and be sure to recycle!

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