In the interest of increasing sustainability, Texas State should implement recycling bins next to every trashcan around campus.
According to an Oct. 12 University Star article, the campus has steadily embraced environmentally friendly initiatives since a recycling program was established nearly 11 years ago. Now is the time to take the next step forward to make recycling more accessible for the average student.
Around the university, recycling bins are not as visible or as numerous as trashcans. By placing a recycling bin by every trashcan on campus, particularly in high-traffic areas such as The Quad, students will be encouraged to recycle while walking to and from class.
Currently, The Quad and other busy areas at the university are overwhelmingly outfitted with trashcans rather than recycling bins. For the average student walking to class, it is much easier to throw away bottles or cans in the trash than it is to recycle separately. Many students do not have the time or the commitment to walk around campus in search of a recycling container. Texas State has the potential to multiply its recycling output by adding more receptacles with easier accessibility for students, faculty and staff.
Switching to a simpler single-stream system could also increase the amount of recycling on campus. The university could invest in recycling bins made from older, dual-plastic and aluminum models or purchase single-stream receptacles that can take any recyclable material without having to be sorted out beforehand. Single-stream recycling is a relatively new phenomenon in the green world, but implementing it now would mark Texas State as a leader in environmentally friendly practices.
Many colleges, such as Yale University, already have single-stream systems, as well as additional recycling bins on their campuses. Even residential and commercial areas are beginning to follow the trend. Texas State should not lag behind the movement while it is happening. Adapting more efficient green methods would make the university ahead of the curve, which should give Bobcats yet another reason to be proud of their school.
Texas State has already made significant improvements to sustainability with its recycling program and the Common Experience theme that shed light on the topic two years ago. The campus follows green plans for energy use, according to the sustainability section of the Texas State website.
For example, a few current buildings and new construction projects including the Performing Arts Center are certified or will soon receive certification by the U.S. Green Building Council’s Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design. Also, the agriculture department utilizes bins in the LBJ Student Center for a composting operation entitled Bobcat Blend.
Now, however, the university is starting to fall behind in the accessibility and ease of recycling receptacles. To simplify recycling, Texas State should implement dual or single-stream bins beside trashcans on campus.