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Associated Students Recycling Center Renovations Planned

Students at the Recycling Center

Ramon Castillo (left) and Jeffrey Spafford promoted the “Go Buy Recycle Wear” recycling awareness campaign.

It seems that everywhere you go these days, people are talking about “going green.” Whether this means driving alternative fuel cars, reusing grocery bags or creating your own energy so you can “get off the grid,” there appears to be widespread and growing concern about the health of the planet and our impact on it. And while it may be the current topic of presidential debates and the talk show circuit, CSULB has actually been “going green” for more than 35 years. That’s about the time when the Associated Students opened one of the first recycling centers on the campus of a California university.

Located at 5800 Atherton Street, the Associated Students Recycling Center is a state-certified drop-off facility and redemption center that currently provides five distinct services to the campus and surrounding community. Ongoing services include retrieving recyclable waste from the University Student Union, campus residence halls and other non-state campus buildings; collecting cans and bottles from 62 recycling receptacles throughout the campus grounds; redeeming aluminum, glass and plastic CRV beverage containers for cash payment; operating a drop-off facility where students, staff, faculty and community members can recycle paper, cardboard, scrap metal, glass and certain plastics; and providing educational services where people can obtain general information about recycling and take part in educational displays, lectures and tours.

On average, 115 patrons visit the Recycling Center each day. Between the items deposited and the materials collected from the campus, the center processes approximately 140,000 pounds of material per month (an increase of approximately 27 percent since last spring) that would otherwise end up in area landfills. In an average month, these combined efforts have the net effect of saving roughly 7,488 gallons of gasoline, conserving 88,000,000 BTUs, conserving 213,500 gallons of water and saving 3,650 pounds of mining waste.

The Associated Students, Inc. is in the preliminary planning stages for a major remodel of the Recycling Center’s grounds and facilities. Key features of the remodel entail providing running water and restroom facilities, replacing current office space and adding changing rooms for staff, improving traffic flow, providing more efficient means for material handling and enhancing the physical appearance of the location.
While planning for the remodel gets underway, other initiatives for the center include developing a formal public relations and advertising program, including outreach to targeted CSULB classes, area schools and community organizations. The center also plans to work with department chairs to develop in-class presentations on recycling and zero waste. Work will also begin on obtaining permits for an electronic waste (e-waste) recycling program.

Amazingly, it is anticipated that beginning in fiscal year 2008-09, the center will no longer require financial support from ASI for items other than capital improvements and infrastructure. Based on current financial performance, the center will be able to cover all of its operating costs from the revenues it generates. It seems that “going green” can actually produce some “green.”

For further information, visit www.csulb.edu/asi/recycle. To purchase “I am Part of the Solution” clothing, bring your recyclables to the ASI Recycling Center at 5800 Atherton Street.