Anna Buelow FuglsangGovernment and Public Administration, Year 3
Have you noticed the new waste bins and posters? If not, go have a look in your pantry and you should find three new waste bins each labelled with (may I say?) a pretty cool poster describing what to put in it. Have you guessed what this is for yet? If not, let me introduce you to the MCSU-led recycling project!
Two electoral terms and a two-year plan later, it is finally happening and the MCSU is excited about it! With this project, we hope to make our college greener. Yes, we already have solar panels on top of the Greenberg Building, but we can do better than that! So, let’s recycle!
Recycling means converting waste into reusable material. Waste production is unavoidable so we might as well make a conscious effort in ensuring that the waste is reused! Everywhere you look, you find recyclable material. Take a look in your dorm: your veggies from the supermarket/wet market are wrapped in plastic, you may just have written some notes on a piece of paper and the soda you just drank is in an aluminum can. Most of us throw this waste in the general waste bin in the pantry, but it can all be recycled. The waste you produce may not seem like a lot but multiply that by the other nearly 300 Morningsiders and you have a huge amount of recyclable waste! Now, think about the other 8,000 students living on campus who throw out this kind of waste too. As far as the MCSU is informed, most colleges don’t have recycling bins in their pantries.
Human activities cause a huge amount of waste, and landfills and incinerators’ emissions contribute to a large amount of greenhouse gasses and air pollution. However, the act of recycling takes a few seconds only! Did you know that each recycled aluminum can saves enough energy to run a television or computer for three hours? Next time you cook pasta, instead of throwing the canned tomato sauce in the general waste bin, you might as well rinse it with some water and put it in the recycle bin. Glass can be recycled completely, so when you finish your next bottle of soy sauce, rinse the bottle, take off the plastic lid, and put the glass bottle in the correct container. The plastic lid goes in the other recycling bin! Plastic waste is one of the major contributors to water pollution and recycling it consumes less energy than manufacturing new plastic with raw material. For more facts on recycling, check out these facts:
More facts on recycling:
- Production of aluminum from recycled materials requires only 5 percent as much energy as primary production.
- By substituting recovered scrap materials, recycling reduces the pressure to expand forestry and mining production.
- In 2016, the world generated 242 million tonnes of plastic waste – 12 per cent of all municipal solid waste.
- Glass can be revived and recycled completely and it hardly decomposes. 
- Between 2014 and 2018, the global volume of recycled aluminum showed a steady climb from 15.5 million to 19.3 million metric tons.
- Aluminum can be infinitely recyclable and reusable without losing its material properties. 
- Globally, only about 10% of waste undergoes materials recovery through recycling and composting. 
Are you still not sure how to recycle properly? The rule of thumb is to make sure you rinse and clean everything before you throw it in the recycling container. Then, check out the posters to figure out which bin is the correct one for your trash. If you are still not sure, check out our videos on Instagram [@mcsu2122] in which we show you where to put what. Your last option is to contact the students in charge of recycling on your floor. The MCSU is also always available on WhatsApp to help you recycle properly!
Want to get involved with this project? We could use your help too! We are still looking for students who are willing to help us manage the daily recycling on some floors. It would take five minutes, two to three days a week only! Contact Anna, the IVP of MCSU if you are interested.
Remember, we might be a small college but starting a project like this counts! We can set a good example for other colleges, residential buildings, and the university in general. So, let’s recycle!
 - (Gencer, Yasin. (2015). Mystery of Recycling: Glass and Aluminum Examples. 10.4018/978-1-4666-9723-2.ch009.)
 - ( Bulei, C & Todor, MP & Heput, T & Kiss, Imre. (2018). Recovering Aluminium for Recycling in Reusable Backyard Foundry that Melts Aluminium Cans. IOP Conference Series: Materials Science and Engineering. 416. 012099. 10.1088/1757-899X/416/1/012099.)
 - (Kaza, Silpa; Yao, Lisa C.; Bhada-Tata, Perinaz; Van Woerden, Frank. 2018. What a Waste 2.0 : A Global Snapshot of Solid Waste Management to 2050. Urban Development;. Washington, DC: World Bank. © World Bank. https://openknowledge.worldbank.org/handle/10986/30317 License: CC BY 3.0 IGO)