By the summer, students can expect to see multi-colored recycling bins all over campus.
On May 8, the Miner Recycling System will present the data collected since Jan. 21 to President Diana Natalicio, Dr. Gary Edens, Vice President of Student Affiars and Cynthia Vizcaino Villa, Vice President of Business Affairs and decide on the investment for UTEP to have a recycling program.
Pedro Diaz, project manager for MRS, has been ecstatic with the results and the amount of waste and recycled materials that have been collected from the bins in the Union complex and the College of Business Administration.
UTEP currently has a 8.47 percent diversion rate, Diaz said. Only 8.47 percent from total waste of UTEP is being recycled. The multi-stream system has tripled and quadrupled those rates.
According to Diaz COBA has increased the diversion rate from 8.47 percent to 42 percent in the first month of this spring semester and for the Union we have increased the 8.47 percent to a 34 percemt rate in that same month.
When the program was first initiated in January, 6.3 tons of secondary commodities or recyclables was collected from both buildings.
“We are definitely growing, the Green Fund has already sponsored the infrastructure cost (for the) Health and Nursing building and (the compactor) that allows (us) to manage and sell our inventory efficiently,” Diaz said. “We need to have this system campus wide for UTEP to have sustainable recycling program.”
Maite Martin, senior environmental science major and president for Environmental Advocates, believes that recycling is an important part of reducing the impact on the environment.
“Everyone should try as much as they can to be more involved in it,” Martin said. “I do try to recycle everything I can. I am even willing to carry things with me until I reach a recycling bin, and take others items as well.”
EA does not currently have a plan to work with the recycling program, but are willing to participate in initiating more recycling around campus.
“Implementing the system campus wide will set UTEP on a net zero waste path (75 percent recycling rate), setting the standard for all institutions across the UT system, and help UTEP reach to a tier one status,” Diaz said.
Raul Armendariz, senior environmental science major and president for the Permaculture Society, does his best to recycle as he realizes the benefits that can come out of recycled material and reducing waste.
“I think the benefit…is the knowledge that your small contribution of recycling is a solution to a very large problem. We may not be able to fix the problem in just one run, but recycling small materials doesn’t add to the problem of having more waste in landfills,” Armendariz said.
“We (Permaculture Society) recycle things like dead plant material and put those in a compost pile to be decomposed into nutrients, that are then put back into our garden soil that help provide nutrients to the plants we grow next season,” Armendariz said.
Lorain Watters may be reached at [email protected]