In a recent attempt to go greener, the Eastman School of Music planted new recycling bins and oversaw a student-led awareness campaign, sowing the seeds for environmental sustainability.
The new bins — which replaced old, outdated ones improperly heaped with refuse — match the three-sectioned receptacles used on the River Campus. These bins are color-coded for accessibility with a gray bin for trash, a green bin for plastic, metal and glass and a blue bin for paper and cardboard.
“It’s a shame that Eastman recycling hasn’t been up to the same standard as UR’s,” Greenspace member and sophomore Lilly Camp said. “But [it’s] exciting that they are making efforts to change Eastman’s system.”
Eastman Resident Advisers (RAs) had approached staff with growing student concerns over the obsolete containers and an increased interest in sustainable living in the dormitories.
“We had been looking into purchasing new receptacles while also trying to encourage students to use the current receptacles that were in place correctly,” Environmental Service Supervisor Mary Santiago said. “This is the year we were able to make this change [on the] Eastman campus as a whole.”
These bins were brought to Eastman because of a joint effort to improve recycling at Eastman by Recycling Coordinator Amy Kadrie and Santiago.
“We also believe that the students will respond more positively to supporting recycling with the new totes in place,” Santiago said.
However, Santiago understands that merely providing bins does not mean more students will recycle. She believes that a joint effort between UR Facilities and students is needed for the recycling bins to be successful. Facilities will be responsible for providing the receptacles and removing the recycling and students will be responsible for using the bins correctly and educating others.
Santiago hopes that these more user friendly bins will help increase recycling at Eastman and decrease cross-contamination with trash.
Students are also hopeful that these bins will expand sustainability efforts both at the River Campus and Eastman.
“Hopefully as the UR community continues to build on our own sustainability efforts, Eastman will be able to do the same,” Camp said.
There hasn’t been much positive or negative feedback about the bins yet so it is hard to tell if this eco-friendly step has been successful, Santiago said. But, she is optimistic.
“I haven’t heard too much yet, but the students are using them correctly for the most part,” she said.
Cozen is a member of the class of 2015.