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Cross-campus recycling efforts stepped up

Aug. 23, 2004

By AMANDA HICKS, copy editor

Putting recyclables in their place has been a concern at Baylor since 1992 when the university started its first recycling project, but students have raised questions about where their paper is really going.

"A common misconception is that the recycled materials go to the same place as the rest of the trash," Danny Roberts, director of housekeeping, said. "There are actually two separate bins, but Facilities Services only has two trucks."

Roberts said the same trucks make two different trips to pick up trash and recyclables, and the paper is taken to Sunbright Paper Recycling, Inc.

To put an end to those assumptions, Roberts said his department hopes to mark the container exteriors more clearly this year. Also, a removable magnetic sign will be placed on each truck when it is in transit to Sunbright so there will be no more confusion.

Sunbright sales manager Kendal Hobby said Baylor trucks deliver paper and some plastics to the plant once or twice daily. Paper is then shipped to other mills for processing.

"Paper can be reused after it is pulped and by removing pieces of fiber," Hobby said. "Some of that paper is used domestically, and some is sent to Mexico."

Students living in the residence halls may take their paper recyclables to the designated locations within each hall. The North Village has reserved recycling rooms in every hall. Roberts said all Baylor students are welcome to drop off their paper at any office location.

Roberts said residence hall staffers have helped raise program awareness.

"Community leaders have done a good job of educating students about where to recycle," Roberts said. "And we've had minimal contamination in those bins."

For the Welcome Week move-in, Roberts said his department will place recycling bins beside dumpsters. Similar bins were placed near Marrs McLean Science Building and Sid Richardson Science Building for moving professors to recycle their paper during the summer move to the Baylor Sciences Building.

Leigh Ann Moffett, fire safety specialist, said white cardboard containers will soon replace blue bins across campus, except in the library.

"The advantage of the white containers is that they are smaller than the blue ones which make it more manageable for the housekeeping staff," Moffett said. "The white containers also fit in locations better than the larger blues."

In addition to changing paper containers, Moffett said Baylor's Risk Management Department has launched a new program to collect toner and inkjet printer cartridges at 10 locations around campus.

The student-led Environmental Concern Organization collects aluminum, paper and plastic in bins at the Student Recycling Center located behind the Goebel Building.

Noemi Saenz, a Dallas senior, said she set up a newspaper recycling system with Baylor staff.

"I was given a key to all the locks on the recycling dumpsters on campus by a very kind director in the housekeeping department," Saenz said. "I also recycle whatever else I can behind Goebel."

Vicki Pierce, day shift operations manager for Baylor housekeeping, said the main way to increase cross-campus recycling is to let people know their options.

"We just want the general population to know that there are places to recycle here at Baylor," Pierce said.