Yes, We Do Recycle At Moravian College
ABOVE: Christina Estadt ’14 highlights the College's recycling and sustainability efforts on campus.
By Christina Estadt ’14
Some rumors have spread around campus that Moravian College does not recycle, possibly because students might see recycling vehicles that resemble garbage trucks taking recyclable materials away from the campus’ collection areas.
Andy Anderson, associate director of plant services at Moravian, recently explained that East Penn Sanitation hauls trash from campus, and Cougle’s Recycling, Inc., collects commingled recyclables (e.g., plastic, cans and bottles) and mixed paper. Mixed paper includes items such as office paper, newspaper, magazines, cardboard and discarded mail. He said that students can tell the difference between the two trucks because the trash truck empties the dumpsters into the front of the vehicle while the dumpsters containing the commingled recyclables are emptied into the rear of the Cougle’s Recycling trucks.
“It’s two different types of equipment performing two different functions when they are here,” said Anderson.
According to Anderson, when school is in session, the campus recycles on average 1,500 pounds of mixed paper and 4,000 pounds of commingled recyclables a month. Additionally, the college recycles other materials that people are probably not aware of. Anderson said that the campus contracts with AERC Recycling Solutions to recycle all of the campus’ large wet cell and smaller dry cell batteries, fluorescent light bulbs, fluorescent lamp ballasts, used oil, Freon, paint, and electronic waste, such as TVs and computers. Furthermore, in the past year alone, 17,000 pounds of scrap metal have been taken to a local scrap metal reclamation center.
“We have been doing commingled recycling since the 1990s,” said Anderson.
Anderson examined that there are 190 indoor commingled containers and 65 indoor stations for collection of mixed paper located on campus. There are a growing number of outdoor collection containers for commingled recyclables, too. Anderson said that campus facilities put mixed paper recycling bins in the main lounges of the larger dorms. Originally, they put one commingled recycling bin per floor in the Main Street dorm hallways.
“We’ve had to increase it to two commingled recycling bins per floor due to participation and volume,” said Scott Ihle, assistant director of plant services. “One is in the bathroom, and one is at the end of the hallway.”
Anderson explained that students might also get the wrong impression when they see Brian Smith, a facilities employee, placing clear plastic bags containing recyclables and black bags containing trash in his truck at the same time, but that doesn’t mean they are going to the same place. The mixed paper and cardboard are taken to a separate dumpster located near the facilities building.
“Brian dedicates four hours of his day every day to recycling,” reasoned Anderson.
Anderson explained that students can contribute to recycling efforts on campus by taking work study jobs, which average about four hours a week each. “We have 10 work study jobs every semester, and we usually fill only about half of them,” he said.
Ihle pointed out that students who do not live on campus can also participate in work study recycling jobs. “We currently have a commuter student doing the recycling pick-ups in the H.I.L.L.,” he added.
Anderson concluded by saying that any student or students interested in learning more about recycling efforts on campus are welcome to contact him directly to make arrangements for a behind the scenes tour.
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