Waste is a terrible thing to mind – Recycle

Chaminade informs students that it will not be recycling paper any longer.

Ellissa Bio

Chaminade informs students that it will not be recycling paper any longer.

By Ellissa Bio, Staff Writer

Reducing man’s ecological footprint, also known as going green, has been popularized in recent years and the United States as a whole has made a drastic improvement. However, Hawaii is isolated and has limited space with a growing population. With more than 1.3 million people on a few islands, an enormous amount of trash is accumulated every year.

After taking the time to walk around Chaminade and see what is being recycled, the information received from staff workers, students and environmental services was not very impressive.

Granted, there are about 30 blue recyclable bins for cans and bottles outside each campus building, as well as one ink cartridge recyclable bin outside the library – it isn’t enough.

Did you know that Chaminade also doesn’t recycle paper? Sure you can find a small paper bin in the Sullivan Library, but talk about the inconvenience for the other classrooms and settings all around campus.

After speaking with Senior Director, Lisa Furuta, of Communications and Marketing at Chaminade, she said the reason such actions were taken in effect was due to the labor cost of sorting through paper appropriate for recycling as well as the increased cost of recycling at one of the few vendors on the island. But Chaminade does recycle bottles and cans, cardboard and toners. Big whoop.

Such reasons are understandable. However, in a college atmosphere, it is important to find ways around such challenges, in order to continue to better the environment. Yes, students and staff can be mindful, using less and recycling more. However, the idea that individual improvements will hardly make a dent in the problem is wrong.

Hawaii residents produce an average of 6.2 pounds of trash a day, according to Honolulu Magazine article, “Environment: Curbside Crux.” The national average is 4.4 pounds per person, making Hawaii 41 percent higher. This number is outrageous.

Hawaii residents always boast about protecting the land and reducing development, but it is the local residents who are producing this high amount of trash. It’s simple improvements like Chaminade placing different types of recycling bins around campus (not just bottles and cans) and taking them away to recycling manufacturers twice a week that can make a difference.

Chaminade has the power to take recycling off the shoulders of its students. Between classes, sports and social lives, help these student out and let them deal with the responsibility to recycle at home or off campus.

Students and staff already help by recycling and reducing their impact. Instead of buying bottled water, some are purchasing reusable water bottles. Also located in and outside of Eiben are recycled water fountains, saving money and the environment one step at a time.

Junior Lawrence Major goes around campus once every week recycling bottles and cans from fellow students around campus. He is taking matters into his own hands, but why should he be doing more than the entire college combined.

It all starts with preventative measures. When making purchases at the campus P.O.D., the store does not give out plastic bags. It is “bring your own bag,” which is a nice first step compared to Times Supermarket, Walmart and Tamuras. I thought plastic bags were banned.

Society feels that it needs to have its items placed in a bag after a purchase. In the future carry the candy bar out of the store, bring a reusable bag or bring a large cardboard box. It’s not that hard.

Lazy actions make for harsh repercussions. Out-of-state students accumulate a lot of items over four years of college, and most of it won’t be returning home with them. It either finds a new owner or ends up in the trash. Instead of throwing away these appliances, Chaminade can easily take them to Re-use Hawai‘i, a non-profit organization that accepts donations of reusable materials.

The Chaminade community should be encouraged to take cans and bottles to the nearest HI-5 Redemption Centers and use the five cents back for future recycling investments. Coincidentally, there is a redemption center exactly 1.1 miles down Waialae Ave.

Now let’s get down to business. Students and staff need to speak up, bring about awareness and act fast if Chaminade is going to make changes. Go to the origin of the problem. The environment could use some friendly acts of kindness from Chaminade.