Citrus College recycles paper, cardboard, batteries, uorescent lamp tubes, used motor oil, printer and copier toner cartridges.
Yet after students nish their drinks from vending machines, there are no recycling bins for them to throw their bottles.
Throughout the day, the trash cans become filled to the brim with plastic bottles, one of the worst materials for our environment.
Plastic is non-biodegradable, so it can take up space in a landfill for many years while burning it away releases toxic chemicals into the atmosphere.
Currently, the Citrus Community College District does not have a recycling program for aluminum cans, glass and plastic bottles.
Rather than putting recycling bins outside across campus, the school should place a small recycling bin in each classroom where they are more easily accessible.
A few professors already keep them in their rooms, but this is not the best the college can do.
The addition of these indoor bins would reduce the greatest amount of waste since even without recycling bins outside, the trash cans’ plastic and aluminum contents are still often recycled.
Usually at some point in the day, someone walks around campus go through trash to collect the bottles and cans to a recycling center for money.
Some students may feel uncomfortable with the presence of these “sorters” on campus because they may appear homeless.
There’s a stigma that homeless people are mentally ill and dangerous. No problems have ever arisen from allowing the sorting of trash.
The college is unaffected and the needy are benefiting, but we can reduce our waste even further.
The problem with people recycling the bottles and cans themselves is that not every trash can is sorted through each day. The contents of some trash cans are still going to end up in a landfill.
Though small recycling bins in classrooms would decrease the amount of money available for the people who take the bottles from our trash cans, it would also be an easy way to reduce Citrus College’s ecological footprint.
While minimizing our footprint, Citrus would be bringing in money. The money can be used by our sustainability committee to fund more ways the school can save energy and protect the environment.
The committee can add light timers in restrooms that don’t yet have them, or replacing some of the paper towel dispensers with hand dryers.
It is imperative that we do what we can now to slow down the process of environmental degradation, especially at a time when our country is opting out of the Paris Climate change agreement.
We have to lead the way for environmental change if the government will not.
Written by Sahara Barba and approved by The Editorial Board.