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Recycling options expand for student residents

By: Katie Olson, Editor-in-Chief

Recycling Timeline
Graphic by Chuck Greenslade

On Sept. 1 the city of Denton added food and beverage cartons to its single stream recycling, the process referring to the pick up of paper, plastic, metals and other materials, for residential areas and businesses, as stated by a press release from the city’s website. The press release further explained that the city has partnered with Pratt Industries to process these recyclable materials. Zero Waste Manager Shirlene Sitton indicated that the addition is part of a national initiative started by Carton Council.

Sitton stated: “Carton Council is a industry funded representative group that has helped set the markets and infrastructure in place to make that kind of packaging recyclable. Anybody that has a single stream recycling program can now add that to their mix.”

Apart from the city of Denton’s initiative, TWU also contains its own recycling initiative program. Director of Physical Plant Operations Robert Ramirez describes that TWU has a tradition of sustainability.  The campus keeps blue and black containers for solid waste and recyclable products occupying buildings throughout campus, where much of the material is collected and sent to the city of Denton.  Ramirez elaborates that much of the material comes from offices where students and faculty work, on whom the program relies on the most to make it successful.

Ramirez shared: “As long as they can separate it themselves, our custodians take out the recycling every Tuesday and Thursday.”

He added: “We really rely on our occupants to do their part.”

Last year, TWU collected on average 48.6 tons of recycled material, according to Ramirez. A recycling committee on the campus also organizes Earth Day events promoting sustainability and recycling. Ramirez concluded that there is no shortage of recycled products here at TWU.

He said: “There’s no doubt in my mind that Earth Day and plans to recycle will continue moving forward.”

Meanwhile, the city of Denton plans to continue expanding the carton recycling initiative. Sitton revealed that the recycling program will begin pushing for an awareness campaign around the holiday season. However, Sitton encourages students who live in Denton and on campus to continue to be more environmentally conscious by utilizing single stream recycling in their dorms and apartments. She added that students who live in multi-unit family residences could also request their manager to add recycling services through the City of Denton.

Sitton concluded: “Pretty much anybody can always recycle more. Learn what’s recyclable,  and make that effort at home and on the go.”


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