New recycling centers were placed in the Combs Building on Nov. 8. All trash cans were taken out of classrooms and offices in a effort to increase recycling. CAITLYN COOK/PROGRESS

New recycling centers were placed in the Combs Building on Nov. 8. All trash cans were taken out of classrooms and offices in a effort to increase recycling. CAITLYN COOK/PROGRESS

 

By ZEYNAB DAY
zeynab_day@mymail.eku.edu

A new approach to Eastern’s recycling initiative aims to take trash cans out of classrooms and offices and place them in newly designed recycling centers. The Combs Building was the first location to implement the changes posed by the campus-wide initiative.

The “recycling makeover,” implemented on Nov. 8, was designed to decrease the amount of recyclable materials that end up in trash cans instead of recycle bins by placing both in the same location, said Alice Jones, director of the office of sustainability

She said people often place recyclables in trash cans in their offices or when exiting classrooms due to accessibility.

“By taking the trash can out of the classroom your are retraining that behavior,” Jones said.

The Combs Building is an ideal location to test the effectiveness of the initiative because it offers a wide range of facilities including, high-traffic offices, two auditoriums and numerous classrooms, she said.

Jones said the new waste and recycling centers was a collaborative effort among the Office of Sustainability, Department of Custodial Services and EKU Recycles program.

“Ideally, we would like to do the whole campus at once,” Jones said.

However, implementation of the new recycle centers will be gradual and completed in individual buildings as funds become available. The collaborative is looking at various ways to increase funding for the initiative, Jones said.

The Wallace Building is the next location set to implement the new recycling centers in Spring 2014. Jones said high-traffic buildings are the first targeted for the changes.

Jones said plastic bottle recycling has increased in the Combs Building and the cost and waste of plastic garbage can liners has decreased following the implementation of the new recycling model.

New posters and directional signs were hung throughout the Combs Building for the new recycling centers. The centers are positioned near elevators and stairwells and include one receptacle for garbage, one for aluminum cans, plastic cups and bottles, one for paper and a spot for empty pizza boxes.

Jones said the initiative was not free of hiccups, as some people had pulled trash cans back and old recycling receptacles into classrooms and the custodial staff was working to inform faculty and students of current procedures.

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