The overwhelming number of people that fill campuses and residences at colleges and universities every year produce a lot of waste. On the one hand, it is only natural for this to occur, but how waste is disposed of could be dealt with more carefully. After all, the list of things that can be recycled continues to grow, and if everyone (including administrations) implemented a more eco-friendly mindset, it would go a long way toward putting everything in the right place and positively affecting the environment. That being the case, below are a few suggestions for better recycling throughout the new academic year. 1. Textbooks: In most classes these are necessary, but textbooks are not always transferable to the next semester. Eventually they get outdated, and if that is the case, make sure to recycle them wherever book recycling is available. 2. Packing material: Sometimes, moving into school means having to pack more than just clothes and books. Once in a while there are other things that need to be hauled from home that might be breakable or simply need extra care. Once everything makes it to the proper destination, do not forget to recycle the packing material. Or, save it for moving out and recycle it once back home. 3. Packaging: Whether living in the dorms or off campus, students like to make their personal spaces as comfortable as possible, which may require buying furniture, artwork or tchotckes for display. A lot of this stuff comes with packaging that can and should be recycled. 4. Food packaging: Alternatively, students tend to eat a lot, which means there is a lot of material waste from fruits, vegetables and snacks. Whether plastic, paper, tin or glass, plan to recycle food casings and packaging. 5. Tableware: Students are often on the run, so if they use disposable tableware there are two important things to consider. The first is to try and purchase biodegradable products, but if none are available, make sure they can at least be recycled. 6. Class handouts: Although we live in the digital age, many professors still teach using a lot of paper handouts, which generally are not needed beyond the semester. When no longer necessary, place those sheets in the recycling bin. 7. Clothing: Yes, even clothing can be recycled. When a shirt or sweater rips as a result of playing sports or roughing around and it seems beyond repair, utilize it for mending other things. 8. Parties: College parties can be a lot of fun, but they also produce a lot of trash. Setting up recycling bins not only makes the cleanup easier, but it also helps recycle in one step. 9. Electronics: It is a hard reality when it happens, but digital devices only last so long. When a computer or phone fails there is a temptation to just toss it in a dumpster. Nevertheless, take a deep breath and drop it off at a local recycling center. 10. Mail: Even as email has taken over as a preferred way to reach people, college students are notorious for receiving all kinds of junk in the snail mailbox. Brochures, restaurant menus and other kinds of advertisements are likely to be a nuisance, and the immediate reaction is to toss it all in a trashcan. Instead, have a bin marked “RECYCLING” by the mail area of a dorm so these recyclables are disposed of appropriately. Jakob Barry is a home improvement journalist for Networx.com. He writes about reusing and recycling for professionals across the U.S. like Hollywood, FL, carpenters.
Networx.com’s Jakob Barry: Recycling This Semester
This primer helps students consider the top 10 ways to recycle both on and off campus.