State Sponsors Campus Clean-Up: Recycling Program at Montclair State University

Montclair State University

Alana I. Capria, Staff Writer - The Montclarion

After years of unsuccessful efforts on the part of staff and students at Montclair State University, a recycling program has finally been instituted on the campus.

Wayne DeFeo, who has been helping to head the project, stated that the recycling program "has actually been in the planning process for well over two years. There have been a number of logistical hurdles that need to be overcome and funding to needed to become available."

Greenhouse Reduction, LEED Program Compliance and Cost Savings Through University Recycling

Montclair State University Mixed Paper Recycling Poster
Posters placed throughout the Montclair State University campus help residents and visitors recycle properly.

According to DeFeo, there are three reasons for the program's creation. "The first is based on the University's pledge to assist in the reduction of greenhouse gases, its commitment to the LEED (Lighting, Energy Efficiency and Design) program and recognition that recycling helps to control the cost of solid waste disposal."

DeFeo went on the say that President Susan Cole signed an agreement with the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection "to aid in reducing the production of greenhouse gases."

The second reason is due to the fact that MSU is a participant in the LEED program, which "calls for increasing the environmental efficiency of each aspect of campus operations."

Finally, economic reasons also help to provide reason behind the recycling program. "When we throw away recyclable materials, money is simply being burned." In this case, money is burned because by law, all of MSU's garbage must go to the resource recovery plant in Essex County.

"Every time we throw away material as garbage, we are throwing away about $75 per ton. With recycling, we will save on each ton of material that we recycle," DeFeo said.

"Additionally, with recycling [and the newly designed garbage collection system], we will not need to collect garbage as often from the campus. This means less trucking and thus, less air pollution," DeFeo said.

College Recycling Program Enhances Campus Community Efforts

Montclair State University Cans and Bottles Recycling Poster
DeFeo Associates, Inc. created posters for the Montclair State University campus that clearly designate recycling receptacles.

Recycling efforts have not been entirely unknown to the campus community before the 2004 fall semester.

"Through the efforts of the Physical Plant staff, there was limited recycling of certain materials. Wooden pallets, white goods, refrigerators and CFC recovery, computers and some copy machine toner and ink cartridge recycling took place," DeFeo said.

"These materials will continue to be recycled. However, the new program will also add all non-food contaminated paper, glass bottles, aluminum and steel cans, plastic #1 and #2 bottles and scrap metals."

DeFeo said that in the 1970's, the staff and students at Montclair State attempted to convince the administration of the need for recycling programs.

Due to the fact that the Mandatory Recycling Act was passed by the government in 1987, and because "three governors signed executive orders mandating that college and university campuses recycle, there has been more interest focused on the overall efforts made by the campus community."

Paper (with the exception of any items that are contaminated with food, NCF, and blue print paper) will be collected. Glass, plastic with codes #1 and #2, aluminum cans and steel cans will also have designated bins.

To avoid any confusion as to what materials are to be placed in what receptacle, "each type of recycling can has a specific lid designed for the material that it accepts. […] There will be posters placed throughout the campus which illustrate the correct method to recycle," DeFeo said.