No glass left behind: BU to recycle it

Illustration Monica Lake | Lariat Photographer

Illustration Monica Lake | Lariat Photographer
Monica Lake | Lariat Photographer
By Kara Blomquist

Recycling norms on campus will be shattered. Glass recycling is coming to Baylor.

All buildings certified in Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) on campus and Moody Memorial Library will have the ability to recycle glass.

Marrs McLean Science Building and East Village Residential Community will also have glass recycling when they open.

LEED buildings on campus include Simpson Athletic Complex and Academic Center, Hurd Tennis Center, Jim and Nell Hawkins Indoor Tennis Center and George W. Truett Theological Seminary.
In order to be LEED certified, a building must meet standards set by the U.S. Green Building Council.

These buildings reduce the amount of waste sent to landfills and conserve energy and water, according to the council’s website.

Recently, LEED began requiring buildings to have glass-recycling capability in order to maintain their certification. This was not a requirement when the buildings on Baylor’s campus were originally LEED certified.

This glass recycling is a test program, Smith Getterman, sustainability coordinator said. In this initial phase, most of the buildings on campus won’t be able to recycle glass. The buildings taking part in the program will have specific receptacles, designated for glass, which will be blue and made of rubber.

Getterman said he did not know exactly when glass recycling will begin on campus.

“We’ve got the containers in,” he said. “We’re going to roll them out sometime after Easter, definitely before Dia.” Diadeloso is April 18.

Scottsdale, Ariz., sophomore Katelyn Voigt said she thinks glass recycling is a good addition to Baylor’s sustainability initiatives but isn’t sure how much glass will be recycled.

“I guess I don’t use glass that much, but I like recycling and think that it’s good,” Voigt said. “I’m glad they’re trying to be friendly to the environment.”

Getterman said the small amount of glass on campus is one of the reasons the university decided to use Moody library as a testing ground for the program.

“Part of it is that some of us don’t think there’s going to be a whole lot of glass recycling because there’s not a lot of glass on campus,” he said. “The other part of it is if we find out the thing’s getting filled every day, then we can go back and expand it a little bit.”

The Baylor community also played a role in the decision.

“There’s been kind of a build-up of demand from students, faculty, and staff to get glass recycling on campus,” he said. “This was the time to do it. We finally have kind of the momentum from the rest of the program to make sure that this is successful.”

If the initiative is successful, the next step will be to expand glass recycling to the Bill Daniel Student Center, the McLane Student Life Center and the Baylor Sciences Building Getterman said.

He said no timeline has been created for this potential growth in glass recycling.

Getterman said glass can be difficult to recycle because it can break and become a safety hazard for those taking the glass to the dumpsters. The material also doesn’t have a very high resale value, so fewer locations in the country are recycling glass.

Strategic Materials will handle Baylor’s glass recycling. SunBright Disposal Services deals with the rest of the recycling at the university. This means the glass will go to a separate recycling dumpster.

The city of Waco also recycles glass. Residents can recycle clear, green or brown glass by taking the material to the drop-off recycling center on 44th Street.

Nationwide, about 27 percent of glass waste was recycled in 2010, according to the Environmental Protection Agency’s website.

Regardless of the location, students should empty their glass bottles before recycling them, Getterman said.

The Woodlands junior Kayla Udell, student assistant to the sustainability coordinator, said she wants students to pay attention to which bins recycle what material.

“My hope is that first they would just read what the bin says and put whatever they have in their hands in the correct bin,” she said.

Beyond student usage of the program, Udell said she has other hopes for the future of glass recycling at Baylor.

“It would be awesome to do all of campus,” she said. “I would love to see this extend out to Floyd Casey or the new stadium.”