By KC IFEANYI
Despite their common place in dorms, cars, backpacks and
the available recycling facilities in Ruston,
reusable items such as paper, plastic, cell phones and phone books are not
Nick Norwood, a senior communication design major, said
he feels if he did recycle, it would not make a difference.
“I don’t feel that it’s important enough,” Norwood said.
However, he also said his negative attitude toward
recycling is shared by many others.
Norwood said he considers recycling a “late ‘90s fad” and
that for him to become active in it, he would have to
“I just want to know the process of recycling from start
to finish,” Norwood said.
For Norwood, the problem is not just why recycle, but
Ellzey Simmons, the resource
conservation and development coordinator of Trailblazer Recycling in Ruston,
said the organization is working hard to end that problem through more
“We need to get the word out at Louisiana Tech that
recycling is available,” Simmons said.
Simmons said he plans to advertise their recycling
facilities by setting up recycling facilities in the dorms and working more
closely with SGA.
Corwin Washington, head of environmental actions for SGA
and a sophomore environmental science major, said SGA would like to extend
Tech’s recycling program with Trailblazer.
“We’re trying to start a campus-wide campaign,”
Washington said. He said that he hopes to expand recycling on campus beyond
just paper. “Hopefully we can begin sometime this quarter.”
For Tech student Jennifer Bailey, a senior English major,
Simmons’ and Washington’s messages are well understood.
Bailey who has lived in Germany
for six years, said the United States could benefit in the long run by adopting
the idea of mandatory recycling as they do in Europe. Bailey also said
recycling should extend to re-using as well.
Her personal example included using old fliers as her
printer paper. She also said she gets annoyed with people in coffee shops who
ask for their drinks to go but stay in the coffee shop.
“It just irks me when people ask for Styrofoam instead of
glass or porcelain cups,” Bailey said.
Even though Trailblazer recycles a variety of items,
including aluminum cans and printer cartridges, they are unable to recycle glass,
metals or plastics.
“There’s no market for it,” Simmons said. “There’s no end
receiver to come and take it or sell it to.”
Caroline Seitz, a
junior agricultural business major and Bailey’s former roommate at Oklahoma
State University in Stillwater, OK, has an idea for students who wish to
recycle but do not have time to drive to recycling facilities.
Seitz implemented an in-dorm recycling program. The girls
in her dormitory would bring their recyclables to her room and Seitz
volunteered to take all the items to the recycling center.
Seitz said the program was a success because of its
accessibility to students. “If it’s not convenient, you’re not going to do it,”
Howard Hunt, an associate professor in the biological and
environmental sciences, said Tech has tried to start up a recycling program in
the past but it was short-lived because the students involved graduated and it
was never carried on.
Although Hunt said he had no affiliation with the former
group, he hopes that enough students interested can generate another recycling