Recycling for the “Randos”

Sign at Mahabalipuram, Tamil Nadu, India. From Wikimedia Commons by user John Hill.

By Sheridan Brown

Recycling is the last thing on college student’s minds.  Trying to juggle class, extra curricular activities, work and a social life is usually overwhelming in itself. What most people do not realize is that recycling takes no time at all.  So for those individuals who are not as concerned about the environment as others, you can still do your part and have plenty of time for other activities.

Remember coming home at 3 a.m. last weekend and reaching straight for the box of oreo’s, mac and cheese, or even a box of left over’s from the night before?  How about this morning when you finished off the rest of the cereal?  It takes the same amount of time to throw those empty boxes in a recycling bin rather than a trashcan.  How about beer or soda cans?  We all know how quickly those build up!  Set out a box or trash bag and have your guests throw all their cans in it.  Plastics, however, can be a bit trickier.  Unfortunately, Columbia only accepts 1 and 2 plastics.  However, that still allows us to recycle shampoo bottles, milk jugs, detergent containers and plenty of more items that take up a lot of room in the trashcan anyway! The City of Columbia Public Works Department and other city recycling programs pick up recyclables on the curb once a week. Places such as Target and Hyvee subtract money from your total if you bring in your own bags.  This can be a way of “self-recycling”.  Cloth bags usually hold more than the cheap plastic sacks-which helps if you live on the fourth floor of your building!

Want to know more on what and where to recycle? Check out the Columbia Recycling homepage!

Sustain Mizzou founder Jared Cole poses with his students holding special-ordered Sustain Mizzou notebooks.

Luckily, Sustain Mizzou offers a fun and easy way to get rid of the boxes for you through a recycled notebook project.  They gladly accept boxes and paper donations and make fun, crafty notebooks out of them! Interested in taking part in this?  Check out our link!

And here’s an odd one: mercury. Working with fire departments and county health offices throughout the state, the Missouri Department of Natural Resources is providing mercury drop-off locations in communities statewide. Any private citizen or nonprofit agency can leave mercury-containing instruments, such as thermometers, blood pressure cuffs, thermostats or switches, at any of these sites. The nearest site is at the Missouri Department of Natural Resources, 2710 W. Main St., Jefferson City.

Even if you are not a recycling guru, you can still help benefit the environment by recycling. ‘Rando’ or not, your participation matters!


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