Here in Charleston we are so lucky and fortunate to have such accessible recycling units. I have to admit, I took for granted our recycling and didn’t realize that a lot of people are not given the amazing accommodations that we are given in Charleston. This past weekend, I visited some friends at Clemson University and to my amazement, ALL of their housing complexes do not offer any type of recycling units. This blew my mind. There are 23,000 students that attend Clemson and none of their college housing units have recycling. I can’t imagine how much reusable material is going into landfills because of this. So I asked what the deal was and apparently, the students can drop off their recycling at a recycling center on campus. Considering the housing complexes do not have recycling, at least they have this alternative. Still, how many college students are willing to go that extra mile? As devastating as it is for me to admit, my friends doesn’t go that extra mile and neither do their roommates. (Yes I was questioning our friendship). They did say however, that Clemson took a survey at the beginning of this year that asked students if they would use recycling units if they had them in their housing complexes. No action has been carried out since that survey. So when I got back to the recycling city of Charleston, I told my roommate about this and she said she didn’t have available recycling units in her home town either! She promptly told me that up north, recycling isn’t nearly as available as it is here in Charleston. This really put into perspective how fortunate we are in Charleston to have such readily available recycling units. It also makes me wonder how we could even start to implement recycling units in areas that don’t have them.
Wow, I see not only a problem but an opportunity in this. Just think of how much waste could be diverted if it was easy to recycle in their dormitory units. You last sentence also poses a good question. Usually, it’s up to municipalities to provide recycling bins and pickup, and there are usually quite a few conversations that take place before it’s implemented. Your friends or other Clemson students could begin by talking with representatives at the Physical Plant (at CofC at least, the Physical Plant is in charge of recycling, custodial services, energy use, construction, etc…),