Stephens College caters to virtually every need a student could present. From pet dorms to updated classrooms, the campus is geared towards modernization. However, one big update has fallen to the back burn. Recycling.
The Columbia community allows for an eco-friendly environment with bike lanes, sidewalks expansions, and trail to promote a healthy lifestyle.
Since Stephens is a part of Columbia, shouldn’t our habits reflect the community? Emily Mendoza, sophomore business and psychology major, agrees that Stephens is a “progressive school and we should (all) be more aware (of our actions).” Pinpointing a specific location for recycling on campus involving Stamper Commons would be best in Mendoza’s opinion.
“Last year, the cafeteria, had the Paper Waste Project, but it fizzled. The cafeteria should be involved in providing bins” Mendoza said. The Paper Waste Project was a program last year that studied the amount of paper waste Stephens students go through.
Richard Perkins, Project Manager for the Facilities Department, gave insight on the recycling issue on campus. Perkins said that Stephens College is in the running for a $5,000 grant from the Mid Missouri Waste Division. If Stephens were to receive the grant, the facilities department would obtain specified recycling bins that meant for separating paper, glass and plastic.
As stated on the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) website, “about 71 million tons of paper and paperboard are used in the United States”.
Trees are planted every day, but it still does not reverse the air pollution emitted by the recycling process. The time and energy it takes to recycle paper adds more pollutants into the air we breathe.
To combat this, recycling is insufficient. But even in this effort, Stephens is lacking. Only one container for paper is visibly located near the exit and entrance doors of Stamper Commons. Across campus in the Hillcrest apartments, a sign indicates an empty wall space for recyclable drop-off.
Terra Carlson, a junior Fashion Marketing and Management major, says that she doesn’t partake in recycling on campus because options are limited. However, if the opportunity presents itself, she would participate regularly.“I live in Columbia Hall and I feel guilty about not recycling when I know I can and should.”
Perkins could not speak on Columbia and Wood Hall’s behalf because the facilities department is not responsible for the clean up.
Perkins hopes to install color coordinated receptacles in various locations for convenience by 2013. The $5,000 grant would be able to support recycling bins in Lela Raney Wood Hall, Dudley and other main entryways.
If Stephens were to receive the grant, students should expect to see new additions in their living spaces come the new semester Perkins said.
In the meantime, students take a look at their own recycling habits. Although not trendy, or tidy, making a weekly pile for paper and plastics to be recycled can reduce the amount of trash going into the landfills.