Review of receptacles reveals recyclables

Dr. Robert Reavis and Dr. David Lang of the Biology department standing near the separated recyclables Nov. 15(Glendale)

The Recycling bin dumpster dive took place on the campus mall Wednesday Nov. 15 where students from many different disciplines participated. It was the sixth recycle dive that took place on campus and students arrived around 6:45 to sort through garbage and recycling to properly separate the waste and learn more about how the process of recycling works.
Most of the recycled material separated was properly disposed of but many things like paper cups and water bottles still containing water needed to be emptied before they could be bagged. Almost ninety students attended and helped to sort materials in the enclosed area.
The effort was announced through the distribution lists given to faculty and through emails to students. Biology and chemistry students were given extra credit if they signed in and participated. Chemistry professor, Dr. Kim Smith said, “We had a lot of students today, they got it busted out really quick.” She considered the event successful because many students learned about the separation process. There was more garbage in the recycling than any other year but this didn’t discourage students who were able to collect an astonishing 28 bags of properly recycled materials.
The dive was conducted early because recycling gathered the previous day needed to be sorted and picked up on time. Dr. David Lang, professor of Biology, also considered the event a success saying “we completed it much more quickly than most years. It’s a point of pride for GCC to see so many students participate in this event.”
There were three separate piles for sorted material, properly recycled, contaminated recyclables and non-recyclable trash. Materials like pizza boxes and coffee cups were the most improperly recycled material. Biology professor Robert Reavis said, “pizza boxes can’t be recycled because they become contaminated with fatty residue.” There were a staggering number of plastic water bottles in the contaminated pile which needed to be emptied before being processed. Reavis added “it would be better if everyone had their own bottle to fill. We have water fill stations all over campus now. It’s nice filtered water and it’s free.”
The event gave students the opportunity to see how recycling reduces waste and saves money. The city of Glendale can divert waste from the landfill when more people recycle consciously and recycled materials are then used in many ways. The most common recycled plastic has the classification of 1 and it is the most commonly used consumer plastic. It can be recycled back into another package or be turned into a fiber.
According to the Green Efforts report the drive collected 40.5 percent unrecyclable material compared to 23.3 percent in 2016. Overall there was 59.5 percent clean recyclables, 15 percent contaminated recyclables and 25.5 percent non-recyclable garbage.

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