How many landfills do you want to creep up over the next 30 or 40 years in the world in which you live? This is a question that Clint Carlson, Vice President for Administrative and Business Affairs, wants students to strongly consider.
Carlson is trying to bring attention to a paper recycling initiative that has been taking place at JSU this semester. In partnership with Cintas, the university is trying to eliminate waste on campus. Square boxes bearing the Cintas label are scattered throughout campus, allowing students and faculty to securely drop off their papers to be recycled.
“It was a way to dispose of sensitive documents as well; things that might have social security numbers on them and things of that nature, because the boxes are secured,” said Carlson.
“They [Cintas] come by weekly, they’ve got the key to unlock the box, and then they take them out and shred them. […] By doing this, it provides security of sensitive documents, as well as keeps this stuff out of landfills."
Carlson said that while attempts to create a campus-wide recycling program have fallen short in the past, he believes that the current initiative has been fairly successful thus far. He said past initiatives, especially those headed by the SGA, have not worked in the long run because of the turnover of officers from year to year.
"It's hard to create continuity from one administration to the next," he explained. "One administration might have a priority on recycling, and the next one doesn't."
The short-term goal for the university was to recycle the paper products for around one year before determining the success of the program.
According to Carlson, recycling of cardboard and plastic products may be in store for the near future.
"Look around and see what we're generating," he said. "A lot of boxes come to campus. We would like to do something with our cardboard waste, and probably plastic. Most of the vending machines now dispense plastic drink containers versus aluminum cans."
Carlson acknowledged that for any recycling program to be effective, a team effort must be made.
"You can't create a recycling program and expect one group to do it," he said. "It takes effort across the board. And if everybody's not willing to participate, usually it's not going to be successful."