The high cost of new recycling bins sparked debate at Student Senate.
Senators ultimately approved a $6,800 application for the purchase of five new recycling bins to be permanently placed at various sports venues on campus. The issue was brought to the attention of Director of Campus Sustainability Initiatives Froggi Van Riper as well as junior Inez Pea, Senate Sustainability Chair this fall. The request was sent through an application which Van Riper and Pea then presented to Student Senate.
“I think the Student Senate, passing the budgets that they do, has become aware, possibly even more than I am, of the nature of the cost of running a campus,” Van Riper said in regards to the Senate’s decision to approve the application.
The cost will be taken out of the Sustainability Fund, which is supported by taking a small amount out of student funds to pay for projects. These projects include the high tunnels and its workers, the garden and its workers, move-in and move-out aids, as well as requests such as the recycling bins. Each bin was priced at $1,700, the first was free.
Makeshift recycling bins were available at sporting events this fall.
“It made recycling this other idea. It wasn’t integrated into the infrastructure of the school, making it seem as though sustainability was secondary,” Pea said.
Student athletes have also noticed the lack of recycling options.
“The soccer games bring hundreds of Knox students together, and it’s kind of odd to think that we don’t provide them an easy way to recycle their waste while at these events,” Student Senator and men’s soccer player junior Charlie Harned said.
When the application’s price was compared to the Sustainability Fund reserves, the application uses five percent of total funds that is “par for the course for anything ethical, durable and appropriate,” Van Riper said.
Arriving over winter break, the bins will help to bridge sustainability and athletics.
“Sporting events are a place that draw a lot of people from outside of the school, so there are opportunities for us to educate by setting an example,” Van Riper said.