OPINION: Standing for sustainability on CMU’s campus

(Courtesy | Katie Prebelich)

With the threats of climate change becoming more and more apparent, the discussion around sustainability has become even more prevalent. More people are looking towards reusable products, changing their eating habits and making other lifestyle choices to try to lower the impact of their carbon footprint.  

At Central, there has been a  decrease in the amount of waste going to landfills. The annual Municipal Solid Waste Report found in 2016, 1891.58 tons of waste went to the landfill from CMU’s campus. Last year, that number had decreased to 1545.73 tons going to the landfill. That is a 19% decrease in waste overall going to the landfill. A large portion of that percentage is due to the increase in students recycling and turning to reusable products. 

While CMU has been able to decrease the amount of waste it sends to the landfill, the waste audit Wednesday, Oct. 3 found there is still a large room for improvement.  

A waste audit is a process that is used on campus to determine the amount and type of waste that we as a university generate. The most recent waste audit of the Ronan Hall trash reciprocals found that 69.2% of the waste found within the reciprocals could have been recycled, composted or donated in another way.  

As students, we can and we must do better. Taking the extra time to ensure as little trash as possible ends up in landfills is something we must prioritize as a campus.  

 “Recycling on campus can be easy if you are willing to learn and take the time to do so,” said SGA Sustainability Chair Kalli Walz. “This includes taking your time washing out your coffee cups before recycling them and making sure that each part of the cup goes into their correct recycle bin. It may also include you bringing reusable straws or bags on campus instead of using plastic alternatives. If students do more of  these, it will help reduce the lost recycling percentage on campus” 

Reduce, reuse, recycle. If we as students placed this initiative as a top priority, we could lower the tons of waste going to landfills unnecessarily.  

For more about where and what can be  recycled on campus, go to https://www.cmich.edu/fas/fmgt/Operations/Recycling/Pages/recyclewhat.aspx

There will be another waste audit on Monday, Oct. 21st from 2-3 p.m. at the corner of Preston and Washington.  

Project Recycling will take place on Oct. 30 from 1:30-3:30 p.m. in the Charles V. Park Library. This event will have free utensils and educational information for all students. 

SGA is having a bonfire fundraiser for the Student Food Pantry at Papa’s Pumpkin Patch on Oct. 18 starting at 6 p.m. All are welcome to come. 

For more information about these events, SGA or anything mentioned please contact SGA Press Secretary Katie Prebelich at prebe1k@cmich.edu.