Students push for more recycling on campus

By Megan Wright |

When thinking of ways to be environmentally responsible in the home, the average American thinks of recycling.

Two separate recycling bins in the on the first floor of the Proctor Library. The bins were placed in the library three years ago in an attempt to cut down on trash waste from paper product and other recyclables.

As of June 2015, St. Johns County citizens were given single-stream residential recycling bins, meaning residents can mix all types of recycling in a single bin. But in terms of Flagler College, there is still work to be done. Tim Mellon, director of student activities, is optimistic that the college will take an increase the recycling program currently on campus.

Mellon said there are recycling bins in the student center, library and even a few residential halls. Recycling is not required in the residential halls; therefore, resident advisors choose whether or not to make recycling a priority.

“The recycling bin behind the Lewis Hall is gaining popularity and is becoming much more known. That is where all recycling from the school is taken. Unfortunately, word of mouth seems to be the only form of advertisement,” Mellon said.

Karina Quiñones is a resident in Ponce de Leon Hall, where her resident advisor is avid in collecting recycling on the floor and personally taking it out to be collected behind Lewis dorms.

Quiñones is a first-year student with a double major in criminology and psychology and a minor in biology, with a passion for environmental activism, commonly participating in awareness projects.

“My hall has two recycling boxes, one for cardboard and one for bottles and I always recycle my stuff. I would like to see a specified recycling program in all residential halls,” Quiñones said.

In terms of student activity, Flagler’s Student Government Association is taking on the challenge to advertise and promote recycling on campus.

Gregory Leo is Chair of the Student Affairs Committee in the association, where students advocating for increased recycling is frequent.

Leo, along with vice chair Lindsay Gilliam, have been working with school administration to implement recycling bins in the new on-campus dorms, Abare Hall.

“We [Leo and Gilliam] have been told that there will be recycling bins in Abare Hall and that there are faculty members working to get some in the other residence halls, but they’re often met with trouble. I am hoping to get at least one recycling bin in the Ponce lobby, where there is heavy tourist traffic, but the bin must fit with the aesthetics of the building,” Leo said.

Despite battling with a few higher-level members of administration, SGA has worked alongside Flagler College’s Green Team to acquire recycling bins to disperse through the campus.

Green Team has recently bought six recycling bins to “test” in the library. A problem at Flagler lies in the way people recycle. Students throw trash items in recycling bins.

“St. Augustine does not have its own plant yet, but my family who is from New Jersey is optimistic that St. Augustine will understand the importance and long term benefits of recycling,” Leo said.

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