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Tri-recycling bins implemented on campus

SUU’s Purchasing Department is positioning tri-recycling bins in numerous locations, including the Sharwan Smith Center, the Hunter Conference Center and the Milton and Steven D. Bennion Administration Building.

The black circular bins allow for paper, plastic, and aluminum to be recycled in separate drop slots within the same container. More bins of different colors and sizes will be tried out in other locations as well to determine best use of size, space and volume.

The bands are branded with a combination of SUU’s Thor logo and the familiar recycling symbol. The bins are currently located in high traffic, high visibility areas.

The majority of SUU students are keenly aware of recycing options and they have a desire to follow through with helping out, said Purchasing Director Pete Heilgeist.

“We want to convey to students an environmentally conscientious message,” he said.

Denise Tomer, sustainability coordinator and director of SUU’s Earth Club, said she has seen increased interest and involvement in the 20 years she has resided in Cedar City. Having moved from the east coast, where recycle practices are more commonplace, she said she was shocked by the “non-recycle”mindset in Cedar City.

During high school, Tomer would go around with a shopping cart and fill it with recyclable items that others donated to her cart.

“Now students have a greater comprehension of what to do with recyclable materials,” Tomer said.

Further efforts are being implemented and can be seen around campus as well.

A water bottle refilling station, installed three weeks ago in the Sharwan Smith Center, positioned in the hallway between the Outdoor Recreation Center and the Center for Women and Families, already has filled over 4,000 water bottles.

What appears to be a standard wall-mounted, grey and stainless steel square shaped water fountain with a corner spout for drinking, this high-tech, state-of-the-art refilling station also has a spout used specifically to fill bottles, mugs, and glasses with cold water.

By placing a water bottle on the pad below the spout, filtered water automatically streams out and fills the student’s container in seconds, said Chad Thomas, surplus property coordinator.

The upper right hand corner of the station has a green lit automatic counter panel that keeps track of how many users have taken advantage of this “cool” source of dispensing water, Thomas said.

Thomas mused over the idea of 4,000 less plastic containers in our landfill and the ease with which this dispenser can be used by students, faculty and staff.

A new logo has been designed, furthering the Purchasing Department’s efforts to reach higher sustainability levels, with SUU lettering and Thor surrounded by green recycle arrows.

A video, emphasizing the importance and variety of recycling options on campus, is being produced through the Purchasing Department that will be ready before the football season is over.

“We hope to premier it on the big screen during halftime,” Heilgeist said.

The script is ready and preparations are being finalized for the on-campus production.

New, light gray containers that look like file cabinets can be found in some buildings on campus for the sole purpose of recycling paper, Tomer said. The drop slot is designed to accept only paper.

According to SUU's sustainability website, in the first six months of 2010 over 17 tons of paper have been recycled on campus.

“Everything we do has a consequence,” Thomas said, expressing his opinion that the “overused political phrase ‘carbon foot-print’ can leave a negative impression in the minds of those who are just now adjusting to a recycle/sustainable life-style.

Understanding responsibility to the environment and the countless ways people can help on campus is the intent of the Purchasing department and the Sustainability committee, Heilgeist said.

“Sustainability is the key message we are building on,” Heilgeist said. “Recycling is a component.”

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