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Recycling on Campus: Students Want More, But is It Worth It?

Kailey Fenton

Staff Writer ‘21

Reports on new limitations of recycling exports means that many municipalities in the U.S. are unsure of what to do with the recyclables they collect, yet this has not slowed calls for more recycling options from Merrimack students.

According to The Atlantic, China started restricting imports of many recyclables, including mixed paper and plastics, especially if their contamination levels are too high. As a result, recycling facilities across the country are telling towns, cities, and counties that they’ll either have to throw recycling away or pay much higher rates to process it.

This news comes not long after Merrimack’s “Go Green Team” worked to make the community a better place through projects that include the campus recycling program in all residence halls and academic buildings, running campus clean-up, planning sustainable-themed homecoming events, organizing field trips, and holding green social events on campus. The campus recycling program includes aluminum, plastics, glass, metal food containers, mixed paper, cardboard, lawn clippings, and more.

Students who live at the Royal Crest Apartments across the street from campus would like recycling services added. Ciera Spagolla, a sophomore at Merrimack and resident of Royal Crest, said she has noticed there is no place to put recycling where she or many other sophomore students are currently living.

Although Merrimack has come a long way, Linda Tankersley, who is the administrative assistant for the Environmental and Sustainability Studies program, said there is always room for improvement.

Since recycled products seem to not be going to the right locations or even being recycled at all, green efforts on campus could instead look more to reducing, reusing, and other innovative ways to make our campus and Royal Crest more green.