Florence recycling efforts show positive results

by Student Writer Kaitlyn Davis

Last year, the city of Florence revamped its’ recycling campaign, and it is making a difference. (Opinion)

The amount of recycled materials has increased on campus and in the city, officials said. The increase is due, in part, to the additional recycling bins provided on campus and the new curbside pickup service the city offers its’ residents.

“The materials that are going into the bin and coming to the recycle center are turning into something new, and that’s a big concept,” said Florence Recycling Department Coordinator Rachel Mansell.

Mansell said the recycling center has noticed an increase in the amount of materials recycled since offering carts to city residents. Mansell said there has been a huge increase in participation, from 25 to 30 percent before the carts to 70 percent since the carts.

Through grants, the school (UNA) was able to add recycling bins to each classroom on campus and offer educational flyers and advertisements to encourage campus members to recycle, said Assistant Vice President for Facilities Administration & Planning Michael Gautney. (Which posters? Cuz the ones I made were not funded at all) The result has been an increase in recycled materials on campus.

Mansell said the recycling department needs “help with people knowing what goes in that bin like paper, cardboard, plastic bottles and jugs and metal cans,” but not food, Styrofoam, glass or yard waste.

UNA recycle, on average, between 10,000 and 15,000 pounds of materials each week, Gautney said.

“I believe our campus is very clean, but we can always increase recycling efforts,” said Student Government ASSOCIATION President Nick Lang.

The SCA ??? plant in Barton ??? turns the recycled materials into toilet paper and paper towels, Mansell said.

She said UNA buys the recycled paper products from SCA. Therefore, the process becomes full circle, benefiting the school and community.

“The recycling bins on campus provide students with plenty of places to recycle their materials,” Lang said. “However, I do think it would be extremely beneficial for SGA or a department on campus to give some more updated information or provide some educational forums to remind students of the benefits of recycling and how recycling can make them have a greater sense of civic responsibility.”

Florence offers a recycling service the same day as garbage service to its’ residents. She said residents just need to place their recycling carts at least three feet apart from your garbage can and the city will pick it up.

There are several drop off recycling locations within Lauderdale County for those who do not live in the city limits.

Senior James Rainey said he makes an effort to recycle on campus and at home.

“It’s important to do everything you can to make the world a better place,” Rainey said.

Although students are making an effort to use the bins, it is harder to recycle off campus. 

Senior Sally Stone said she only makes an effort to recycle when she sees one of the bins.

“I would like to see an easier way for students to obtain a recycling bin for off campus recycling,” sophomore Michael Davis.