Going green and blue at UVU

We’ve all done it, thrown our trash into the blue recycling bins instead of the garbage cans around campus. While inadvertent as it may be, plenty of work, and pride, goes into UVU Recycling on campus.

More than 110 pounds of aluminum are recycled every month at UVU. Even more astonishing, an average of 18,000 to 20,000 pounds of paper make their way into the blue bins each month from the hands of employees, students and staff.

“We have seen more usage of recycling bins around campus and have had to hire additional help to keep up with the daily pick-up of the bins,” said Joel Herd, assistant director of the Sorenson Student Center. Herd now oversees UVU Recycling.

Cardboard recycling has also notably increased. UVU was recognized by Greenwise Business, an organization that promotes green business practices, for recycling 37.72 tons of cardboard in 2010 and 26.32 tons of cardboard in 2011.

Herd said that both UVU staff and students seem to be making an effort to recycle more around campus. “I believe we are a recycle-friendly campus and we have tried to place recycle bins in as many areas as we can,” Herd said.

For some students though, recycling in blue bins has caused some slight confusion.

“I recycle paper in the computer labs because it is convenient with the recycle bin right by the printers,” said David Fullmer, a communications major. “But I don’t recycle in the rest of campus because there aren’t clearly marked receptacles. Sure, there might be color-coded bins, but while most of the time green means recycle, in residential areas, blue means recycle and green means trash. There needs to be more indication.”

Though it is unknown how many students actually recycle and may run into similar issues on campus, most students seem to support recycling in general.

“Yes, I recycle. Go green by recycling and having UVU pride!” said Cori Fox, a communications major.

Skyler Clark, a biology major, shares a similar yet wistful sentiment toward going green.

“I recycle every chance I’m given that opportunity, but I do not find enough opportunities to be a full-time recycler,” Clark said. “How I wish we could have that opportunity.”

The school’s recycling program is funded through UVU administration. Currently, no student fees are applied to the operational or maintenance costs of the UVU Recycling program.

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