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Sunday, September 24, 2023


Overflowing recycle bins a problem for UH students

Green UH’s efforts to turn UH into a completely green campus are going well, but the overflowing recycle bins are a problem for students.

Although UH has numerous recycling bins located all around campus, they are sometimes neglected to the point of overflowing. | Jourdan Vian/The Daily Cougar

“Maybe the cans could be emptied more often throughout the day; they are usually really full when I see them,”architecture student Hannah Young said.

The bins are currently being emptied once or twice a week, Jonas Chin, the constituent relations coordinator of UH’s University Services department, said.

The bins were placed all over campus last year through a joint effort between Green UH and UH’s Plant Operations, with the latter in charge of their day-to-day upkeep.

“If anyone sees a bin overflowing, they can help our Plant Operations team by calling (713) 743-4948, the Fix-It line,” Chin said.

The overflowing bins are one of a few kinks in UH’s recycling program that have to be worked out. Overall, the efforts of Green UH and UH’s Sustainability Task Force to turn UH into a fully green campus are paying off.

UH was recognized for its recycling program by the Princeton Review over the summer, who named UH one of its 286 Green Colleges of 2010.

“We also want people to know UH has a title to defend,” Chin said. “UH finished first amongst universities across the country in actual weight recycled last year during the three-month RecycleMania contest. The UH community recycled over 200,000 pounds.”

UH’s program continues to improve. In Spring 2010, UH recycled 815,000 pounds of paper, plastic and aluminum, 35.65 percent of its total waste. For comparison, throughout all of 2009, UH recycled 1.47 million pounds, 34.13 percent of waste that year.

“Waste minimization is a big part of our campus,” Chin said. “Last year, with the implementation of the new reusable to go container program, UH was able to divert over 90,000 styrofoam boxes from going to the landfill.”

Green UH also continues to hold and sponsor events all over campus to support sustainability.

The Sept. 26 football game against Tulane was the offical UH GO GREEN game. Green UH volunteers were seen promoting simple ways to conserve and recycle.

The group’s next big event is Green UH Day, which will take place on Thursday, Oct. 28 at Butler Plaza from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Green UH welcomes the criticism, according to Chin.

“It’s simple to recycle and we want to continue to make it simple. We welcome suggestions on where recycling bins should go,” Chin said.

Additional reporting by Lauren Mathis and Paulina Lam.

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