Recycling program, resources revamped

As many students and staff may have noticed, there are several new easy-to-use recycling and compost bins placed around campus for all to use.

After an environmental sociology class on campus found a high percentage of recyclable material in trash bins, Linfield’s Sustainability Office, Greenfield and facilities came together to find a way to make the campus more sustainable.

The new bins are placed in Riley Hall, T.J. Day Hall, Elkinton, Frerichs and in the Health and in the Human Performance and Athletics building.

There are also plans to place larger, more durable bins outside of Dillin Hall.

Two sets of four bins are also in storage that students can use for any club or organization events.

“With three parties focused on similar issues, I saw and opportunity for a campus wide project,” Duncan Reid, sustainability coordinator in the Office of Sustainability, said in an email. “And the zero waste campaign was born.”

The bins are 90 percent recycled material, and were purchased during the 2013 summer and put around campus during the first week of classes.

Students and staff that were involved spent a great deal of time on the graphics and design of the new bins.

The goal was to make the bins noticeable and easy to use for everyone, even those not as passionate about zero waste as

students and staff involved in Greenfield or the sustainability office.

“We were seeing a need for a different system on campus,” said junior Katricia Stewart, president of Greenfield. “I love how [the new bins] look. They stand out without being obnoxious.”

Tim Stewart, environmental services superintendent in facilities, played a large role in helping place the new bins around campus.

“I like the message that they’re sending,”  Stewart said. “I’m pretty excited about the whole process. It’s the right thing to do.”

Creating noticeable and appealing signage was a large part of the new recycling and composting system this year as well.

Each bin has a specific sticker on it with the title of waste that should be placed in it, as well as pictures of waste examples.

While there have been complaints of fruit flies in composting bins in residence halls, facilities is doing its best to maintain clean bins.

“[The bins] will give the campus clearer options for comprehensive recycling and composting,” Reid said. “With these bins in place, students have an opportunity to move toward a zero waste lifestyle.”

Future plans include installing more bins around campus and documenting the progress of Linfield’s “waste stream,” according to Reid.

“I ask the Linfield community to please take the 10 [to] 15 minutes it takes to learn how to properly participate in the new systems,” Reid said. “Only together can we achieve zero waste.”

Samantha Sigler can be reached at

New bins in Riley Hall showcase the variety of recycling options available to students, including compost, landfill, glass only and comingle.

Spencer Beck/Freelance photographer