Colorful recycling bins are not just for decoration

Theresa Kozul

When grabbing a bite in the Connelly Center’s Belle Air Terrace, walking to the fourth floor of Tolentine, or picking up a late night snack at St. Mary’s Second Story there is one thing in common at each of these scenes. It’s not just the array of Villanova students, but a row of three bins – one yellow, green, and blue – that can be spotted in every building on Villanova’s campus. These bins are not just there for decoration, but serve as the heart of the recycling program on Villanova’s campus.

These containers are color-coded and clearly labeled, each with a sign explaining how to properly recycle. These bins have been placed throughout campus by the Facilities Management Organization of Villanova. The yellow bins are used to recycle metal and glass, the blue for mixed paper, and the green for No.1 and No.2 plastics. Villanova’s recycling program is considered to be one of the best in the state

“Based on my communication with other colleges and with the state recycling officials, Villanova has one of the top recycling programs in the state along with Penn State and Carnegie Mellon,” said Ric Laudenslager, recycling coordinator.

Besides ensuring that recycling centers are easily accessible – on every floor of residence halls and at least one in every building on campus – the FMO encourages students’ recycling.

“I also meet with the R.A.s before every school year to educate them about the program and help meet any of their recycle needs in resident halls,” Laudenslager said.

In dining halls across campus, students use napkins which are made from recycled paper products. Also, Villanova participates yearly in the national Recycle Mania contest during the spring semester. Villanova came in fourth place in the contest two years ago, but last year students only recycled enough to come in 20th.

“I am really going to push the contest this year,” Laudenslager said. It is ultimately up to students to take part. Many students on campus don’t recycle and they don’t even know where the recycling centers are located in their residence halls. Other students feel strongly about the subject and feel it is easy to drop empty water bottles into the recycling bins for plastics.

“As far as what I do to ensure that students are recycling, that’s probably the most difficult part of my job because it is basically out of my control,” Laudenslager said.

So when a water bottle is empty or the newspaper is read, just look for the colorful recycling bins. They are there in every building on campus. Just take that extra second and read which bin to drop it in. Help save the earth for the next generations to come.