Texas Tech is partnering with the City of Lubbock to bring bring back a recycling plant, located north of the Physical Plant, after COVID-19 shut down the previous recycling center on campus.

Carey Hewett, director for Services and campus sustainability officer, said the center is for everyone in the Lubbock community and gave some backstory for those that don’t know why the center is now being put in place. 

“The center is intended for any Tech employees, students, faculty and it is also available for the surrounding community to use,” he said. “After we lost the recycling center that housing services operated, we partnered with the city to provide a recycling drop off center here on campus, so that we could continue to recycle paper plastics, tin, newspapers, etc.”

Hewett also said the importance of having an area designated for recycling on campus. 

“It’s an opportunity to promote sustainability here on campus, providing a location where recycling can be done easily here on campus that helps us meet some of our sustainability goals, and provides an opportunity for student participation in recycling here locally, and on campus,” he said.

It fits in with the sustainability goals of the city, he said, and is partnering with the city to help increase recycling efforts.

Sustainability is an important objective on campus and the recycling center is just one of the efforts that are going on campus as the Office of Sustainability is tracking the number of sustainability related classes or organizations available to students.

Karen Marin, the sustainability coordinator, said the center came into place now as having people back on campus post COVID-19.

“So with the recycling center being closed due to COVID the kind of, it’s something that we had considered. So it has been a few months in the works, but now I think it was a great opportunity with students coming back and having everyone back on campus,” she said. “So I think that that’s partially why but the reason was just working with the city of Lubbock.”

The aim of recycling on campus is not just for keeping Tech clean but for students to learn to take these actions with them to spread sustainability, Marin said. 

“We want to increase recycling and increase our diversion rate, but also we want to promote awareness so that students aren’t just doing while they’re here, they take that information home or after they graduate and they have that awareness of how to recycle,” she said.

Jennifer Zamora, a freshman from Fort Worth majoring in public relations, said as a student she believes a spot that enables students to recycle is very much needed. 

“I think it is great that we have this site,” she said. “Most students do not think about how important it is to recycle but as the news gets out there over the site more people will be willing to think twice about their actions. I really like how the school cares about issues that involve recycling as that is a big issue in the world at the moment.”

The recycling site is new but Tech has been involved in dealing with sustainability issues as there are three centers on campus that focus on sustainability and have even won awards in the Association of the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education, Hewett said.

“We report on the various sustainability efforts that are going on around campus. We’ve scored a bronze I believe for the last three years, which is, we’re proud of that. We’ve also been on the precipice reviews. Green Schools and the Sierra magazines postal list for many years now,” Hewett said.

The Recycling center is new but Tech is no stranger to equity. The new site will keep on teaching students and the people of Lubbock new ways in keeping sustainability as everyone can have the opportunity to have a clean campus.

“Whether it be recycling or energy or, you know, water, procurement and things like that so we want to create opportunities for students, for one, and you know we just want to make sure that current students, alumni, prospective students, parents, and even faculty staff that work at Tech wants to know that you know sustainability is one of our priorities,” said Marin.

For more information visit https://www.depts.ttu.edu/BusinessServices/sustainability/index.php

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