In an effort to increase recycling on campus, the University of Utah has formed a new on-campus group called the Recycling Ambassadors. This group of approximately 20 students meets to learn about recycling in a new non-credit course offered through the university’s Office of Sustainability. Students then take that knowledge to the campus grounds by spreading awareness and promoting recycling.
The program began in 2007, and the university has teamed up with Rocky Mountain Recycling to accept more plastics, which is one of the most popular materials recycled at the university. The university currently accepts plastics 1 and 2, but students would like to add plastics 3 and 7 in the near future.
The Daily Utah Chronicle has the details:
From the vending machine to your hands to the Union’s plastic recycling bin to the curb outside then to a truck that brings it to Rocky Mountain Recycling plant, where it is sorted, shredded, melted and used to make another product (which probably ends up back in the vending machine). In a perfect world, this is the ideal cycle for a water bottle.
The U has invested time and money into creating a recycling program that is easy for students on the go, yet plenty of recyclable material gets lost along the way. The custodial staff has to toss at least one bag of recycling a day when students contaminate it, such as by throwing a can of open soda into the paper recycling bin. Barbara Bingle, custodial crew leader, is frustrated by how many bags of recycling she throws out daily because of this.