Recycling: Easy Targets on Campus

by Teresa Curry

In a recent ENS 230 field trip, students got to see the inner workings of Danville’s recycling center. We had the opportunity to help sort through the various types of plastic bottles, aluminum cans, and milk cartons on a conveyor belt. The experience itself was fascinating, as we were able to see the behind-the-scenes process of what happens to recycling after we place it in the bin. But what interested me the most was what I saw go along the conveyor belt.

I was one of the students sorting out Type 1 plastics (which mostly consisted of see-through bottles and cups). While doing this, I became aware of just how many things are recyclable around campus. Of course there were plastic water bottles, but there were a few small Fireballs that passed through. Since they are a Type 1 plastic, they were good to send further along the recycling process – along with the typical cardboard and paper that we can recycle, Type 1 (see-through containers) and Type 2 (which consists mostly of cleaning supply containers such as laundry bottles) plastics, aluminum cans, and more.

There are a good amount of objects around campus we could easily recycle. Paper is a big one, and the people running the recycling center told us they would like to see more of it. The disposable cups in Cowan are a Type 1 plastic, and thus can easily be recycled. After a weekend, it may be a good idea to recycle any Fireballs or White Claws away in your dorm hall’s recycling bin rather than the hall’s trash can. It’s a small effort, but it could make a difference and promote a more sustainable campus spirit.

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