Recycling bins are placed next to trash cans across campus, including this one in front of Hansen Student Center. (Zach Dietmeier/WJBC)
By Zach Dietmeier
BLOOMINGTON - Illinois Wesleyan University is working to expand recycling on campus by making it easier.
The university has recently shifted to single-stream recycling with bins placed next to trash cans. Director of Government and Community Relations Carl Teichman said the choice over what to do with your garbage is much simpler.
"Before this process for the campus, you had to separate out paper items and containers and plastic items," Teichman said. "Papers, books, and cardboard went in one container and in another you had glass, aluminum, and plastic."
Several groups, including the GREENetwork - which Teichman co-convenes, Health and Environment Studies, and the Department of Wellness, worked in collaboration on the project and raising awareness.
Laurine Brown of Health and Environmental Services said the dual-stream process didn't encourage users to increase recycling habits the same way single-stream is already adding to material recovered.
"It's easier for the individual throwing something away," Brown said. "Instead of trash and two different types of recycling there is no decision. They just throw the items into the recycling."
The process is more complicated on the collection sorting end but IWU officials said it's acceptable due to increasing sustainability. Implementation began last month thanks to a study done by recent Enivornmental Studies graduate Megan George. She suggested strategies to increase campus recycling and several groups combined to make it happen.
"She observed some of the barriers to people recycling such as the need for putting the bins next to trash cans so there's no stopping the process," Brown said. "She continued to work with Carl and others to have simple, consistent signage across the campus.
Education of the new system has been ongoing for the last year.
Zach Dietmeier can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.