The Student Government Association’s Sustainability Committee, in partnership with the Office of Sustainability, introduced free clear plastic bags for recyclables and a plastic grocery bag recycling bin to City Vista on Oct. 24.
Julia Shults, senior senator and chair of the Sustainability Committee, explained the reasoning behind adding these more convenient recycling options at City Vista.
“It was suggested to me last semester, actually, to have a plastic bag pickup at City Vista,” Shults said. “I lived there last year, and in our apartment, we always had huge build ups of plastic bags, they were filling entire closets sometimes. And people don’t always remember to bring the bags with them to recycle them at stores, and some people don’t even know that that’s a resource that they have.”
The free clear plastic bags that will be provided in City Vista’s front office are meant to assist students with their single stream recycling.
“In City Vista, we have single stream recycling, which means you can put all of your recycling in one bag and put it out in front of your door,” Shults said. “The only challenge that some students have is that you have to use a separate type of bag. You have to buy a clear or blue bag for your recycling. Sometimes it can be hard to find those, some students don’t want to pay for two sets of bags, some just forget every time they go to the store to buy new ones.”
Both the clear plastic bags and the plastic grocery bag recycling bin are funded by the Office of Sustainability.
“I’m providing a bin for them to collect the bags, and Facility Services and my office have partnered to provide clear bags, so people can participate in the recycling program because I’ve heard that that was an obstacle to some students. They were having difficulties finding clear bags,” said Sharon Curry, sustainability coordinator. “SGA has worked out all the logistics as far as how they’re going to be distributed and all of that with City Vista staff. I’ve just provided materials, and they’re providing logistics.”
The plastic grocery bag recycling will be able to operate with the help of regular volunteers.
“We’re currently trying to figure out something with Greek life. I’m in the process of reaching out to APO, as well as SGA of course, and TUVAC, Eco Allies, different volunteer organizations,” Shults said. “We’re going to start offering one hour of volunteer service once a week for someone to go there, get the bags, sort through them and then take them to the store. Most organizations that we’ve heard back from have already been open to it and are willing to give their members volunteer hours for it.”
Kristin Trobaugh, junior, lives in City Vista currently and is excited that these recycling initiatives are now available at City Vista.
“Not many people recycle,” Trobaugh said. “You get one trash can, and there’s no recycling bin. They provide recycling bins on campus but not off campus. It’s just kind of weird to work with it. I think we’re going to have to go get another bin to have for the recycling bag, but as long as I don’t have to buy the bags I think that’s enough for me to actually go buy a bin. I’m hoping most people are like me and are like, ‘Okay, I’ll do it.’ I always recycled when I was on campus, so it just makes it easier.”
City Vista residents can pick up five free clear plastic bags at a time from the front office. Plastic bags can be recycled in the bin in front of the mail center elevator.