At AS Recycling we fight a battle that will never truly end. Day after day, a select few of us working for Chico State’s recycling program dig relentlessly through the campus off products in an attempt to lower the amount of waste coming out of our school. Recycling is no easy task, but thanks to the strength and teamwork of our crew, even Captain Planet is thoroughly impressed. At AS recycling, we send our staff out on a variety of shifts;
Bottles and Cans–
In every building on campus there are conveniently located blue bins for all glass, plastic, and aluminum cans. Once a week a staff member is sent off on a 4-hour shift to pick up all of the bins in a select set of buildings. After all of the bins have been picked up, we bring them back to our warehouse where we get down and dirty. We throw on the gloves and hand sort through every single bag of can and bottles, doing our best to make sure every bit of material is sent to the right place to be recycled.
Each office on campus, professors and administrators, have paper bins that are located in their offices and picked up weekly. On an average shift, it’s not unusual to get around 1,000 lbs of paper. These shifts happen twice a day, five days a week. You can do the math, but in the end… This is a lot of paper.
At AS Recycling we have focused on the amount of food waste that comes out of the resident dining halls, the BMU Marketplace, and the other coffee shops around campus. Two fearless team members are sent out every evening to battle the large amounts of wasted food. I have personally been doing these compost shifts for the last four years, and it still hurts me to see the amount of food being wasted. I know that if I am hungry enough to think that the food waste looks good, then there are others out there who could really use the wasted meal.
Even though the pay may not be much, I feel like I can speak for most AS Recycling employees when I say that the feeling that you are truly having an impact on our campuses sustainability is worth the sweat, sorting, and stink!