Mayflower temporarily gets rid of recycling bin


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University of Iowa officials may have introduced a brief setback in 2020 sustainability vision plans to create a greener campus environment — temporarily cutting recycling services at Mayflower Residence Hall.

Because of construction complications, the recycling bin located behind the building has been removed until the spring semester.

Despite the alteration, UI officials said they are not concerned with what this will mean long term.
“This is a short setback regarding our goal of sustainability,” said Eric Holthaus, recycling coordinator at the university. “I really hope we can rebound in a bigger way.”

The 2020 Vision sustainability targets were created in 2010 with the goal of being completed by 2020 to create a healthier environment. Initiatives have been centered on energy conservation, renewable energy, efficient transportation, and sustainable water research.

Holthaus said Mayflower is the only building that will not offer recycling services.

As a result of a flood recovery and mitigation construction project located in the same area that students manually throw their garbage and recyclables into, the bins have been removed.

Both recycling bins and garbage bins have been relocated behind the building to accommodate for the construction project.

The construction project has taken up space behind the residence hall, including the parking lot that has been closed since last school year due to flood mitigations.

“[Officials] have attempted to put bins in multiple locations,” said Von Stange, university director of housing and dining.

However, the most recent relocation meant moving the recycling bin closer to the back door. This resulted in students tossing trash into the bin instead of strictly recycling. This contaminated the bin, Stange said.

Some students said these changes caused confusion.

“In the beginning of the year, they had the trash right in the front of the parking lot and the recycling was way in the back,” freshman Natalie Fuglewicz said. “They just need to label it better.”

However, Holthaus said temporarily having no recycling bin at this building was the most logical decision.

“I think it would be challenging [for officials] to move recycling from Mayflower to another location,” he said. “I don’t know of a quick fix to a situation like this.”

Now, without the option of recycling, one student said he’s unhappy with the change.

“There’s nothing to do now with our recyclables,” freshman Chase Nokleby said. “I feel bad because we can’t do our part in saving the environment.”

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