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Students Propose Recycling System for USU Cafés

Thursday, Apr. 25, 2013

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The Student Life section of Utah State Today highlights work written by the talented student journalists at Utah State University. Each week, the editor selects a story that has been published in The Utah Statesman or the Hard News Café or both for inclusion in Utah State Today.

Students Propose Recycling System for USU Cafés

By  Dawn Otterby in The Hard News Café, Friday, April 19, 2013

A group of Utah State University students is waiting for approval from USU Dining Services before implementing a recycling system in three campus cafés.

John Papageorgiou, Shayna Marcure, Rob Gentillon, Eden Williams, Lindsey Mortensen, Morgan Jacobsen, and Ryan Yelinski teamed up with Dining Services after discovering a lot of campus waste was caused by poor communication, lack of understanding and an overall poor recycling system.

“It’s a beautiful campus and we’re trashing it and we shouldn’t,” said Williams about the excess waste.

The seven students divided into smaller groups and observed three campus cafés.

Papageorgiou, Gentillon and Marcure surveyed 81 customers from the Artist Block Café and Bakery (ABC). Out the students surveyed 93 percent wanted to see more sustainable practices being used on campus, and 54 percent of students said they always recycle when it is an option.

“Sustainability is important because what you appreciate, appreciates,” Papageorgiou said.

“It’s clear that sustainability is important to students, or at least to those who frequent ABC,” Gentillon said. “What we are trying to do is make recycling and other sustainable practices more easy and convenient for all students. That’s the first step in raising awareness throughout USU.”

Williams and Mortensen worked with Luke’s Café on the Quad. They discovered the café produced about ten bags of trash each day. The girls then posted temporary labels on the recycling bins in the café. The signs reduced the amount of trash by about three bags each day.

Yelinski and Jacobsen said they found similar results while working with the Quadside Café.

Using information they’d collected, the students drafted a sustainability commitment that aims to increase recycling, decrease the use of Styrofoam and improve sustainability. They presented their proposal to Alan Anderson, the director of USU Dining Services and a member of USU’s sustainability council, and are hoping for his approval and autograph.


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