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Do you even recycle, bro?

Recycling bins in the Waldorf University atrium.

By Guzel Tuhbatullina

With the planet in a major crisis, Waldorf University students are taking action.

The recycling program on Waldorf’s campus has been in the works for several years, and is now up and running. Although there were some complications, the Waldorf community has come together to make the program a success.

Biology professor, Dr. Paul Bartelt, and several biology students were working hard to bring this program to life. Now that Waldorf has found a sustainability coordinator, Rachael Jordahl, recycling has never been so active. 

Jordahl graduated from Waldorf in 2018, and as soon as she heard about the position she reached out to Doctor Bartelt. Jordahl now runs the entire recycling program on campus. Her first task was to ensure that all departments on campus were involved in the program. “The only way it could launch is if everybody was on board,” Jordahl said. 

Jordahl has four volunteers involved in the maintenance of the recycling bins. The group changes bags and filters out non-recyclable items.

“Sometimes when I see that there are things that are recyclable I would place it in the right bag,” Nazik Toyliyeva, one of the volunteers said. “Sometimes people just dump their food into recycling,” she added. 

While the main goal is to keep the planet clean, Jordahl’s short term goal is to educate and inform people about recycling and how to properly participate.

“When you recycle just make sure that all of the liquids or food is getting disposed or consumed completely before thrown away,” Jordahl said.

“If you are not sure if you should recycle or not just throw it into the trash,” Toyliyeva added. 

The recycling bins scattered around Waldorf’s campus are blue. Forest City uses yellow bins for recycling, while some other places use green.

Despite the need for further recycling education on campus, there has been definite progress from the start of the program. “People started understanding more how that works and we keep finding that the recycling bins are a lot fuller than the trash bins,” Toyliyeva said.

Jordahl and volunteers hope that recycling will shift from a new occurrence on campus into a lifelong habit.