ches, there will be an increased effort on many persons on campus to commit themselves to improving the quality of life on our planet.
Among the many ways to help do your part for a successful Earth Day, every day, is to use a car less – take the bus, share a ride, use a bicycle. Not only will you save gasoline, but you will reduce carbon emissions.
Another way to help the environment is to reuse, reduce and recycle. Of course, on a campus as large as SIUE, one would think a massive amount of material – especially plastic and paper – would be kept out of the landfill and, at least, recycled for further use. However, this is not the reality. The problem on this campus is not a lack of policy or participation but basic human laziness.
The major recycling company in this area – Republic Services – takes in tons of materials each day to sort and package and sell to appropriate companies. The raw material coming to Republic must be contaminate-free (no plastic bags of any sort), clean and dry.
At SIUE, contamination is a problem but an even bigger one is keeping the material dry. All the recycling containers throughout campus are collected and eventually dumped into those large metal bins located behind every building.
These bins are left open or uncovered and unprotected from the weather. When it rains or snows the material gets wet and Republic Services will not accept for recycling any material that is wet.
Even worse, when a bin of soggy material is dumped into the collecting truck the items in the truck also get wet and unusable and sent to the landfill.
The solution is simple – protect the bins from the environment (cover with a roof) or keep the bins closed. Simple. But, human nature being what it is, those bins will never be closed and, despite the efforts of many to do their part in recycling, they are in vain and are destined, literally, to end up in the dump.