The Student News Site of St. Joseph's University

The Hawk News

The Student News Site of St. Joseph's University

The Hawk News

The Student News Site of St. Joseph's University

The Hawk News

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How to improve your recycling habits in college

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GRAPHIC: MINDY CHOI ’25/THE HAWK

At college, it can be difficult to incorporate recycling into your daily routine. There’s a variety of reasons that may keep someone from recycling such as a lack of recycling bins, living in too small of a space for a recycling bin or not knowing what can and cannot be recycled. Although there may be various barriers that make recycling more difficult, it is still important to find ways to incorporate recycling into your daily routines while at college. Even little changes will inadvertently conserve energy, limit greenhouse gas emissions and reduce waste and pollution.

Figuring out where a dorm’s recycling bins are located or if an off-campus house is eligible to receive recycling bins is the first step in building a recycling habit on and around campus. St. Joe’s provides the option to report a location in need of a recycling bin by contacting Facilities, and the city of Philadelphia allows each residential address to receive up to two free recycling bins per year. Getting physical recycling bins makes the practice of recycling much easier.

Additionally, paying attention to recycling labels is a small but easy step to take and can make an important difference in overall recycling habits. Items such as paper, pizza boxes, take- out containers and glass are common objects that can be recycled, but it is vital to read labels and make sure items are clean first. Items like take-out boxes should have any food scraps removed first, but it is okay if a few small pieces are left behind. Certain items like plastic bags and products such as the plastic wrap around water bottle cases can’t be recycled curbside, but they can be taken to nearby stores, such as the Giant in Wynnewood, to be recycled.

It is necessary to check with the city to make sure certain items can be recycled. For example, checking the resin number on the bottom of plastic products and assuring that the city accepts that type of plastic is a quick way to practice better recycling habits. There are online guides available from the city of Philadelphia (phila. gov) to reference when determining if something can be recycled which are easy ways to increase recycling.

Taking small steps such as these in your daily routine improves recycling habits on campus by encouraging others to pay attention to what materials are recyclable and maintain this awareness when discarding items on campus. Student awareness is crucial in promoting recycling amongst Philadelphia’s large population, which can have a large impact on increasing habitual recycling worldwide.

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