Providence College has a major recycling problem, and it's only getting worse. Starting in September of 2019, the waste management company that picks up all of PC's waste determined that our recycling was so contaminated that it could no longer be brought to the recycling facility.
This means that all of our campus' recycling currently goes directly to the landfill.
Waste management was taking too much of a risk trying to sort through our recycling because it was contaminating the rest of the properly recycled items at the facility, so they gave us a deadline to fix our recycling. After the deadline we will no longer be considered for recycling in the future.
This deadline is quickly approaching.
As students, as members of the Providence community, and as human beings living on a planet that is at risk, we have a responsibility to do our part in reducing, reusing, and recycling. As president of EcoPC, the school's environmental club, I have been trying to determine whether students don't know how to recycle properly, are having trouble making it a habit, or simply don't care to try. Judging by the small number of members who attend EcoPC meetings and the lack of support towards environmental issues on campus from the administration, it's looking more and more like just PC just doesn't care.
It's saddening to me to see people throwing away their Dunkin' cups and beer cans when recycling is one of the easier steps we can take towards improving our school's impact. There's nothing offensive about telling your friend their cup should go into the recycling bin and not the trash can, especially when the blue bins are generally located right next to the trash bins.
PC students and faculty need to do better. Not only is recycling the law in Rhode Island, but it is something fairly simple that we can all do without changing our lifestyles. Recycling bins are provided in every dorm room, in every building, and around the campus outside. All we need to do is educate ourselves on what to recycle and what not to, and commit to asking a friend, the internet, or dm-ing the EcoPC instagram if we aren't sure. The damage from our campus radiates through the whole community at our shared waste facilities, and we will only be able to save our school's recycling from the landfill if we work as a collective.
Made by EcoPC's finest- Maddie Stephen
Remember, when in doubt, throw it out (wrongful items or food in the recycling contaminates everything in the bin)!
For more information on how to recycle right in Rhode Island, feel free to join EcoPC, follow @pcgogreen on Instagram, email email@example.com, reach out to Rhode Island Resource Recovery, or search RI recycling laws.