Many university and college campuses across Texas are avid recyclers.
Amarillo College, on the other hand, doesn’t put forth much in the way of recycling.
We have boxes for paper in our classrooms and labs, but what about plastic, glass and aluminum?
Other campuses I’ve visited have receptacles in the hallways right by the trash cans.
The stations provide convenient recycling options to students and staff members.
I think that if most people have to hunt down a place to throw away their recyclables, the items will just end up in a regular trash can.
Come on now, no one really is going to carry around little baggies marked “plastic,” “aluminum” and “glass.”
Convenience is the only way to get people motivated, and maybe if they get used to the idea of recycling, it will become a force of habit.
With constant reminders not just here but elsewhere, we might be motivated to recycle and make the environment a cleaner place.
According to Columbia University, “Americans discard about 33.6 million tons of plastic each year, but only 6.5 percent of it is recycled and 7.7 percent is combusted in waste-to-energy facilities, which create electricity or heat from garbage.”
The rest that doesn’t make it into recycling facilities or waste-to-energy plants ends up wasting away in our soil.
The wasted tons of plastic are left to potentially pollute our soil and water for hundreds of years.
Most of us don’t tend to think about that water bottle we are throwing away, our old homework papers or soda cans.
The only way for us to become aware is to have recycling options right there for us.
It may seem like it would be a big project getting recycling containers by each trash receptacle on six different campuses, but we have to start somewhere.
Administrators could start a fundraiser to buy recycling containers and slowly place them around all the campuses.
AC could start a competition among all the campus clubs and groups within the community and area and challenge them to come up with eco-friendly incentives.
Together, we can help AC. Together, we can help the world.
Allysia Fine can be contacted via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.