Recycling procedures at Tulane remain underpublicized

Sally Dar, Contributing Reporter

The following is an opinion article and opinion articles do not reflect the views of The Tulane Hullabaloo.

Tulane has left new students uninformed about recycling and other sustainability initiatives on campus. Acclimating to the green environment at Tulane is extremely difficult. There is little to no guidance at summer orientation programs or during welcome week about Tulane’s green community, and students are left with hardly any information about how to do their duty to the environment. 

Liz Davey, director of the Office of Sustainability, said her office relies heavily on Resident Advisors to spread information about recycling on campus. Because the office relies too heavily upon student coordination, the communication on these issues has fallen to the wayside.

Many Tulane organizations focused on personal safety and familiarity with campus during the first few weeks of the semester. There needs to be more dialogue regarding conservation and the green movement when students arrive on campus. Events like Trash To Treasure and RecycleMania show a great effort, but no programming exists to explain simple, everyday recycling procedures in residence halls and around campus.

There are also holes in the university’s recycling bin distribution process. Many residents did not receive recycling bins in their residences. Some residence halls such as Barbra Greenbaum House at Newcomb Lawn still do not have recycling bins in any individual rooms.

Davey said HRL should ensure that all students receive recycling baskets in their rooms. If not provided with a basket and the opportunity to recycle, students will put their recyclable materials in the trash. Many students would use recycling bins if they were present but fail to consider the option when there are no bins present.

There needs to be more concrete instruction for all students, not just freshmen. Davey said she acknowledges there is much more to be done, as the Office of Sustainability relies too heavily on students spreading information about recycling through word-of-mouth. Tulane needs to provide RA’s and other student leaders with instructions about conservation on campus and fix the flaws in the bin distribution system. Students should be informed about on-campus recycling and realize their individual ability to make a daily impact in the world.

Sally Dar is a freshman in the Newcomb-Tulane College. She can be reached for comment at [email protected]