Recycling has been recycled

By Tejay Cleland, Sports Editor

Associate Director of Admissions Georgia Drewes believes in recycling, even when she’s at work, and when she finishes with a plastic bottle or an aluminum can while at Newman, she’s always tossed it into one of the recycling receptacles near her office.

When she found out recently that those receptacles were actually being emptied into the trash rather than taken for recycling, she said, she was shocked.

“It hurt my heart,” Drewes said. “I’m an avid recycler. I hate throwing stuff away if it can be reused or recycled.”

Although it is unclear how long Newman has not been recycling, there are still bins marked for recycling all over campus. Items in these bins are being thrown away with the trash instead of properly recycled.

Current Director of Facilities Paco Gonzales said that he is working on finding new recycling options for Newman but that paying for recycling had become cost prohibitive.

A year ago, former facilities director Bruce Sanderson reported to university administrators that the school was being assessed “contamination charges” for recycling, and he said that he’d met with the Newman’s recycling club and was encouraging people on campus to make sure that items placed in the bins were clean.

Dean of Students Christine Schneikart-Luebbe said that the recycling club hasn't been active this year on campus because student leaders graduated. But she said that recycling should be a part of waste management on campus.

“I think that having recycling on campus is perfectly in line with our [university’s] mission and vision,” she said. “If we can find a way to do that in a meaningful way that is not cost prohibitive, I think that everyone would agree, it’s a wonderful service to offer.”

Drewes said that an email was sent out by Sanderson over the summer saying Newman would be reevaluating its recycling protocols. But the email did not say that the school would no longer be recycling, she said.

She said she believes that it is not only important to offer recycling on campus but to offer it everywhere.

“I don’t like the idea of creating more waste than we need to,” she said. “Given how many people are on the Earth, that’s a lot of waste. If I can reduce that even a small amount, I’m going to do it, even if it’s a little bit more difficult and inconvenient. I’m not afraid to do something that is inconvenient for me if it makes things better for others.”

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