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Volume 71, Issue 136, Thursday, April 27, 2006

News

Supervisor works to improve recycling

Lack of information on program leaves some students and administrators in the dark

by RACHAEL SEELEY
The Daily Cougar

This is the last article in a four-part series examining the UH recycling program. To read past articles, see our online archives at www.stp.uh.edu.

Supervisor of Solid Waste and Recycling Johnnie King said he is doing his best to improve the UH recycling program and to ensure that all campus bins are collected in a timely manner. 

But some faculty, staff and students are unsure about how the program works, what items are collected and where to go with questions. 

"There's no where for us to go to see the list of things they collect. I can speculate, but I don't have a clear idea of what can and can't be recycled. I wish they had a Web site or something," Honors College Business Manager Jason Gregory said. 

Gregory said earlier this year there was some confusion about how often The Honors College recycling bins were emptied and who was in charge of emptying them. 

When the bins began overflowing, he said he had a difficult time figuring out whom he needed to talk to. 

"I called around to several different departments and no one seemed to know who was in charge," Gregory said. 

When he did find King, who is not listed in the printed version of the current UH directory, he said King was extremely helpful and visited the college. 

Because The Honors College is located on the second floor of the M.D. Anderson Memorial Library, King assumed The Honors College staff had access to the library loading dock where the library staff places its full bins for collection. 

"I think part of the problem is that people don't realize that The Honors College is separate from the library ... They were thinking we had access to the loading dock, but we don't," Gregory said. 

Since then, King's staff has been making special trips to The Honors College to collect recyclables. 

But keeping the campus community informed about recycling was the responsibility of the Recycling and Conservation Committee, which is part of why former Recycling and Conservation Committee Chair Stephen Barth said he wants to see it revived.

The University administration, however, has no immediate plans to do so. 

Student Government Association College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences Senator David Rosen said he thinks a recycling committee is a matter worthy of SGA consideration. 

"I think we need to talk about that," Rosen said. 

In the meantime, King said he is optimistic about the future of the program and has plans to expand it to include the collection of laser printer cartridges and plastic. 

He said he commends his eight-member staff, which empties campus bins and even retrieves cardboard from UH dumpsters on a regular basis, for its dedication. 

"They are the ones that are really doing the good job as far as picking up the recycling. I am just the supervisor," King said. "They are the ones that are the real backbone of the recycling."

King said anyone with questions about the program should call the University Fix It line at (713) 743-4938, or him directly at (713) 743-5655.

 Send comments to dcnews@mail.uh.edu

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