Earth Day reminds campus community of importance of recycling

Letter to the Editor

Every year, we celebrate Earth Day. For UA this year, it ought to serve as a call to action for students to be more engaged in recycling and taking care of the Earth.

As a university, we need to look at Earth Day for what possibilities it offers us to show our progress. We have to show that we, as the University of Alabama, are aware of the amount of waste we produce and how much we can potentially save.

According to the UA Financial Affairs website, in the seven years we have had official records on recycling, we have increased the amount of recyclables gathered by more than tenfold. Considering how few cans we have on campus, it really is remarkable how much we recycle. If we were to increase the number of cans we had on campus, more students would recycle than currently do.

Recycling data between August 2008 and July 2009 shows a 125 percent increase in the amount of material the University’s facility has recycled. The University, according to recycling executive director Tony Johnson, has been providing a consistent increase in new recycling vessels on campus every six months; however, very few people have noticed that change. What we need is a substantial, noteworthy change in the amount of cans that we have on campus.

Every quarter, University recycling programs work to increase the number of recycling items on campus. Half of the work that is necessary for recycling currently exists, but the initiative taken by the students will greatly increase the productivity of recycling on campus.

An important aspect of recycling is getting students aware that we have recycling on campus. By recycling, we allow campus to thrive and show a certain level of respect to the campus. It shows that we care about our impact to the Earth.

It will also be important to increase recycling on campus for recruiting. The University has experienced unprecedented growth since the implementation of the recycling program through the university. If we are to take Dr. Witt’s philosophy of growing our campus, then we ought to take into account that recycling matters to prospective students.

It is vital that we raise awareness about recycling, communicate clearly with students and educate them about the positives of recycling and the effect it will have on our environment for generations to come.


Sam Gerard is a freshman majoring in political science and history.