The Daily Gamecock

Recycling efforts, education go hand in hand

Green ideas at USC lack proper execution


Down the road from the Williams-Brice Stadium is a Sonoco Recycling Plant. Sonoco recycling plants annually recycle 3.5 million tons of paper, plastic, metals and other materials. The Sonoco Columbia branch makes it a priority to enlist the help of USC students to keep our campus clean and recycle. The problem is, even with intentions in the right place, most of what we recycle ends up in the trash.

Campus initiative is to have recycling bins preset in all resident halls, food areas and most classroom buildings. Without the proper education though, USC’s efforts to recycle are simply sent to the landfill.

Most recycling companies aren’t equipped to handle the condition of the products many of us place in our blue recycling bins. Sonoco requests all plastic containers be rinsed before being recycled. The containers that come through with yogurt glued to the corners get canned. 

Another common misconception is the kind of “mixed paper” allowed by Sonoco. While office paper, newspaper, magazines and phone books are permitted, tissues, foil and Saran Wrap are not. Also, disposing our recycling in a plastic bag as we would our trash makes the possible recyclable material trash. 

While the movement toward recycling is up, the execution is lacking. USC needs to begin to harness the energy felt by the student body in an attempt to clean up the planet and incorporate updated and explicit guidelines for recycling. Without this education, our excitement for recycling will dwindle and positive results will be few. 


Trending Now

Send a Tip Get Our Email Editions