Recycling bins taken out of storage, placed on campus

New recycling bins have appeared throughout campus at Waynesburg University. These seemingly mysterious bins have popped up in various spots, including the Stover Campus Center and some of the dormitories.

The new recycling bins were placed by senior John Pryzybylinski and his classmates, Austin Zurik and Nate Kummer, for their Leadership and Stewardship class project. This isn’t the first time the campus has seen recycling bins, though.

Some time ago, the same bins could be seen in similar places, but they were removed after students began to misuse them. Students were throwing items that belonged in the garbage bins into them, contaminating the recycling. 

The company that collected the recycling refused to take the recycling if such items were in them, and the staff collecting it would’ve had to sort through all of it to make sure only the proper items were being recycled. It was decided that the work wasn’t worth the trouble, and after these incidents, the recycling bins were placed in storage.

The recycling bins were taken back out of storage for this project and were placed around campus Nov. 11. There is currently no plan to remove them.

“We’re hoping it becomes a sustainable process,” Pryzybylinski said. “We’re hoping it can stay in Waynesburg for years to come.”

The group talked to Dr. Janet Paladino, professor of biology, about how recycling in the United States is corrupt, and how a lot of the recycling taken to China gets thrown in the ocean.

Pryzybylinski and his group wanted to get in contact with an organization called Thread. Thread makes backpacks and other supplies out of recyclables turned to thread. They could not get in contact with them, however, as they are no longer in Pennsylvania. Instead, the students are working with the company Greene Arc, the recycling agent for Greene County.

Pryzybylinski and Zurik plan to help collect the recycling from the bins, and Kummer plans to do analytics and gather data on the items they collect. This data will show if having the recycling bins on-campus are worth sustaining this second time around. If the recycling bins prove to be sustainable, different clubs around the university have offered to take over the project after the students graduate.

“This is kind of like our trial run, round two,” Pryzybylinksi said.

The group has already gotten positive feedback from faculty and staff around Waynesburg University. Students are also generally pleased to see the bins returning to campus.

“Honestly, I just hope it does what we want it to do,” Pryzybylinski said. “With there not being a lot of recycling on campus, our goal was to go campus-wide with it. We’re going to do everything that we can to make that happen.”