By Ryan Finn
Baylor’s sustainability department installed five outdoor permanent recycling containers that students will be able to use to make better choices for the environment.
Smith Getterman, assistant director of sustainability and special projects, said the department hopes to inspire a transformation from students and faculty when it comes to their individual efforts regarding environmental choices on campus.
“These new containers are more visible and now permanently on campus,” he said. “I’m excited we’re giving people the option to recycle along the way.”
According to foodandwaterwatch.org, a nonprofit organization that advocates for safe drinking water, approximately 75 percent of empty plastic bottles end up in landfills and other bodies of water where they may not decompose.
The recycling efforts of students and faculty on this campus is something Getterman said is important, and he believes students are becoming more aware of how their actions impact the environment.
“I feel like recycling is important because plastic products could make their way into waterways, potentially damaging wildlife there,” said Fort Worth junior German Barajas. “With the river being right next to campus, it’s crucial to keep that as clean as possible.”
Lorena senior Brooks Bell said she believes the containers will encourage students to recycle rather than throw away their garbage as Baylor attempts to move to a greener campus.
The accessibility of the containers was a major consideration during planning locations for them, Getterman said.
“We’re attempting to get the bins into the highest trafficked areas right now, so we can see what works best for the students,” he said.
The bins are located outside Moody Library, the Bill Daniel Student Center, the Baylor Science Building, the Student Life Center and on Fountain Mall.
Students who use the containers have the option to dispose of bottles and cans in one chute or mixed recyclables in the other.
“The convenience factor relating to the location of these containers on campus is what I believes makes them the most substantial,” Bell said.
When potential students and their families tour Baylor, Getterman said he wants it to be known that he and the rest of the sustainability department aren’t doing this half-heartedly.
“I think this operation will send a great message to visitors to campus,” Getterman said. “It will show that we are a university that takes caring for God’s creation very seriously.”