Every HOUR<br />2,500,000<br />plastic bottles are used in the United States alone!<br />ONLY<br />1 in 6<br />is recycled!<br />
Recycling is important everywhere, including on USF’s campus!<br />
USF currently promotes recycling by providing recycling bins throughout campus, but are these bins being put to use?<br />Do we really?<br />A survey conducted especially for this project resulted with 33% of students admitting to not using these bins & 70% agreeing that recycling is an issue on campus!<br />
Volunteers taking a full bag of trash from outside Cooper Hall to sort for their demonstration<br />Preparing to sort through trash cans on campus<br />PROOF<br />That recycling IS an issue on campus!!!<br />Recycling demonstrations on campus are when a group of students pour out the contents of a trash can onto a tarp and sort it in a crowded area for students to see. The intention is for students to participate or at least notice how much recyclable material is thrown away and make a change.<br />
This pile of recyclables was found by sorting only a couple trash bags.<br />…Imagine if they sorted all the bags on campus!!<br />
WHAT<br />will actually make students want to recycle?<br />Would<br />Students take the time to recycle their bottles and cans if they were rewarded?<br />A Reverse vending machine!<br />The Solution..<br />
What is that machine?<br />Reverse vending machines are an automated way of recycling. The way it works is the consumer inserts their empty bottles into the machine which processes and sorts the bottles and dispenses a portion of change, a voucher, or other reward back to the consumer. There are many benefits from these machines, including benefits for the consumer, the recycling companies, and the environment! <br />
When given the definition and explanation of a reverse vending machine is and how it functions, <br />94%<br />of students said they would use the machine if it were available to them on campus! <br />
WHY is it better?<br /><ul><li> A RVM promotes cleanliness with it’s design keeping all materials enclosed, compared to the open top of a traditional bin
A RVM automatically sorts and stores materials by type, cutting down on work for recycling collection facilities.
RVMs are easy to install and do not require much maintenance.
RVMs can store many more bottles and cans than a traditional bin. Even a stand up bin, like the ones on campus hold aprox. 144 bottles while a RVM can hold around 1,000 before being emptied!</li></li></ul><li>Who else uses them?<br />RVMs have been installed in many other states & counties. They have also been successful on other college campuses, for example, Purchase College in New York has a TOMRA brand system. This specific college’s machine rewards students with a voucher-like coupon able to be used for Pepsi, Red Bull, Ming Dynasty, Jordan’s Hilltop Restaurant, Purchase Deli, Applebees, Zanaro’s Italian Restaurant, La Bella Restaurant and Pizzeria, and Connecticut Wines and Liquors (tomra.com). This wide range of dining provides options for every student’s preference. Emerson College has also successfully installed a reverse vending machine. Their machine is unique in that the recycling program on campus keeps all the profits from the machine to “offset the costs associated with recycling non deposit containers” (Emerson College Today vol.6 no.6). <br />
In order to <br />TAKE ACTION<br />We wrote a letter to the USF office of sustainability proposing the instillation of a reverse vending machine on campus. The letter included some research, the statistics from the survey, and reasons why the machine would benefit USF & the environment!!!<br />
REMEMBER,<br />Don’t put your recyclables where they don’t belong! It can still be rewarding to the environment to recycle even if a reverse vending machine is not available yet! It is easy and important to recycle using any method!! <br />
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