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External recycling bins planned for high-traffic areas


Article Written by Leah Weinstein


Got recycling? Roanoke College does – kind of.
Some Roanoke students plan to make recycling more accessi- ble on campus by adding outdoor recycling bins in high traf c areas.

Joe Krzyston, president of Earthbound, an environmental aware- ness club, along with Roanoke Senior MacKay Pierce, plan to place vis- ible, exterior recycling bins in various places on campus. Each exterior bin costs over $1,000, but Krzyston said he hopes to have eight to 16 bins on the front and back quads by the end of the semester.

Recently, Krzyston and Pierce met with Pres- ident Mike Maxey who signed off on the project.

“Eventually, the goal is to have one recy- cling bin next to every trash can, and that’s a bit ambitious,” said Krzyston “But we hope to have theminhightraf careas, like the library and West Hall.”

This isn’t the only recycling effort on Roa- noke’s campus.

Roanoke has had a student recycling team for the past four years, and its electric car with the slogan “Maroons Go Green” on the side is hard to miss around campus.

The team roams campus every week, retrieving re- cyclable materials from academic and adminis- trative buildings as well as the Colket Center.

Residence halls too, are out tted with re- cycling bins, but there is only one single-stream recycling container on campus. A brown metal container, which looks like the standard garbage container, sits on the side of the grassy area behind the Life Science building and in between Marion residence hall.

A second recycling container is located just off campus on Salem property, and it’s often used by students who live in the Wortmann Com- plex, and the Afton resi- dence halls. It is only for paper, plastic, and alumi- num recyclables.

As the climate warms and weather changes on a daily basis, understanding environ- mental issues on a col- lege campus is crucial to the future of Roanoke College. Environmental challenges affect every four-year institution in the country, and Roanoke is no different.

Krzyston said that the college can only ben- e t from more visible, ex- ternal recycling.

“I think it’s very important for the school to take a leadership posi- tion,” he said. “If they are going to claim that they

are educating people for tomorrow, which they are, then I think environmen- tal stewardship is certain- ly going to be a part of the future of cultivating mor- al leaders.”

In 2012, the Princ- eton Review named Ro- anoke College the 18th most beautiful campus in the country, and while ex- ternal recycling bins are a great asset, they do take away from the aesthetic of the college, said Krzyston. They also cost more than $1,000 a bin.

To combat this aesthetic challenge, Krzyston said that recycling on campus can be a clever recruiting tool that may lure prospective students to the 18th most beautiful campus in the country.

“If a student from Vermont, where recycling is the norm, comes for Accepted Students day and has a water bottle they have to throw in a trash can, they may think this place is a southern backwater,” said Krzyston. Clubs like Earth- bound, which is a member of the Roanoke College Environmental Coalition, are working to improve the college’s en- vironmental outlook and a push for external recycling on campus is just one of many steps students are taking.

Earthbound often partners with the Garden Club and the Beekeep- ing Society to help edu- cate the college campus and provide alternative resources for food waste, the health of the bee pop- ulation, and general environmental protections.