Recycling changes described

Lucy Li, Copy Editor

According to an email sent to Pitt-Johnstown students Sept. 11, the campus is to launch a reconstructed recycle program due to China’s decision to ban the import of some recyclable materials.

Auxiliary services staff member Joyce Radovanic, who initiated the program, has confirmed that the main reason for reconstructing the recycle program is because of China’s import refusal.

“China is the largest importer of recyclables in the world and has recently banned the import of certain materials. It has also finalized its contamination standards, limiting contamination for any materials imported into the country to less than 0.5 percent.

“These regulations require all markets to focus on quality – which starts with materials Pitt-Johnstown can pass along to Waste Management,” she said.

According to the email, this program is directed toward both academic and residential buildings. There would be recycling containers placed inside the halls, or outdoors in the lodges, townhouses and College Park Apartments for the recycling of paper, cans and plastic bottles.

According to Radovanic, all information has been collected about the needs for new recycling containers and the preferred locations along with signage in each of the academic buildings on campus.  

“Members of our faculty and staff have been helpful in this process and will serve as point persons to help educate their peers about the importance of recycling and how to avoid contaminating recycling bins,” she said.

The program’s goal, Radovanic said, is to educate Pitt-Johnstown students, staff and faculty on the importance of mindfully recycling to avoid contamination.

“If any non-recycling materials enter the recycling stream, all materials in the container are redirected to landfill.  So when in doubt, throw it out.” Radovanic said.

To make sure that Pitt-Johnstown students, staff and faculty are aware of the program, Radovanic said the residence life staff has been given information sessions in the beginning of this semester.

Dining Services coordinator Judi McGuirk, who is also a key person for educating the entire student body, has sent out emails to all registered students announcing the new initiative.

“The email listed the changes to the recycling program and included a printable flier showing what is and is not recyclable. Recycling containers were placed in the residence halls this week. 

“Containers have lids with cutouts to make it easier to recognize what type of materials each receptacle is for,” Radovonic said.

Sophomore student Gus Strasiser said that he did not know about the recycling program on campus.

He said that he recycled at home when he lived with his parents, but he didn’t as much now that he lived alone.

“(But) I would definitely (recycle when the recycling containers are placed out).” Strasiser said.