Lack of recycling at UCC: Reduce, reuse — now what?

SUSAN JARVIS  The Mainstream

Umpqua Community College does not have a recycling program on campus. The school no longer has access to a service that will pick up the campus recyclables and deliver them to the recycle center.

“We have seen an increase in trash… it is really more about knowing how much we were putting into our recycle bins and are no longer doing so,” said Jess Miller, Facilities Director.

The school previously had a recycling program, which was used from 2006 until spring 2017. UCC ran the recycling program through Sunrise Enterprise, Inc., who used to come in a box truck or a front loader garbage truck to haul the recycling away on a weekly or bi-weekly basis. However, Sunrise is no longer accepting the school’s recyclables because it is no longer cost effective for them continue service due to changes in the recycling industry.

The campus club Phi Theta Kappa Alpha Sigma, Upsilon Charter has a can and bottle drop behind the information desk in the LaVerne Murphy Student Center to help support club activities. Students can donate and drop their cans and bottles any time of day.

“We do have recycle bins around campus. In breezeways there are some four port receptacles as well as our new building. We’ve kept them in anticipation of revitalizing the program once we can figure out some support,” said Miller.

Using computers whenever possible and taking notes or writing essays on computers instead of paper are alternatives to unnecessary paper use. Another way students can reduce paper waste is to make two-sided copies when printing out assignments. Plastic waste can be reduced by using reusable water bottles or buying food from the school’s cafeteria instead of bringing to-go paper bags and packaged food containers onto campus.

Miller has been working on a solution for the lack of recycling on campus. He has contacted Roseburg Disposal, Sutherlin Disposal and Sunrise Enterprise, offering to pay to have the recycling picked up.

“I’d like to see student initiative with recycling on campus. Students should step up and take responsibility to help,” said Jantyne Bunce, Lead Peer Mentor.