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K-State Today

April 5, 2011

Residence halls get 5,600 new reasons to recycle

Submitted by Julie Fosberg

Kansas State University students don't even have to leave their rooms to get a little greener.

K-State housing and dining services is using a recently received grant to put recycling bins in all K-State residence hall rooms. The new bins will enhance the campus recycling program already in place. They were made possible through a grant program sponsored by the Alcoa Foundation and Keep America Beautiful.

The grant provided 5,600 individual recycling bins for residence halls and Jardine Apartment residents. K-State was one of 13 universities selected for a grant this year.

"As with any green program, it's only as good as the people who choose to use it," said Nick Lander, assistant director for residence life. "We encourage students to recycle, to reduce food waste in the dining centers by only choosing foods they will actually eat, and to find ways to reduce electricity use in their rooms. Students at K-State can definitely make a difference in the environment by doing these simple things."

The bins, which students began receiving in March, are for such recyclables as newspapers, mixed paper, aluminum cans, plastic bottles and magazines. Students can then take the small bins down to the recycling center outside of each residence hall, then sort the items into corresponding bins. Some hall governing boards are sponsoring organized door-to-door pickup of recycling bin items at specified times each week.

Joe Myers, physical plant supervisor for the Division of Facilities, thinks the bins will help increase recycling rates at K-State.

"Our rates have been pretty steady over the past couple of years, somewhere around 16 percent. Our goal is to bring it up to somewhere around 25 percent within the next couple of years," he said. "It's going to take time and education to get recycling to be the natural and normal routine on our campus, but we'll keep at it because it's the right thing to do."