Behind residence halls and dorms around campus, near the dumpsters, are recycling bins. These recycling bins are poorly designed, so much so that they have actually prevented me from recycling on more than one occasion. The entrance to put recycling into the bins is about a 6” radius hole on the top. This solution might be acceptable if you’re putting the recycling in one item at a time (and you’re not trying to throw away any large items, like cardboard boxes). The reality of it is, though, the bags of recycling people take down there simply don’t fit.
So, provided you are an enterprising individual who still wishes to recycle despite this setback, you can take the following steps: 1. Twist the rusty access handle on the bin, which allows you to open the door. 2. Pull out the plastic bin out from inside of the metal one (since the metal is essentially just a block around 4 plastic bins), and lower it onto the ground. 3. Place your recycling in the bin. 4. Pick the bin back up, and push it back into its position in the metal bin. 5. Close the door to the middle bin, and return the handle to put everything back.
I can’t imagine that the majority of campus actually takes the time to go through this sequence when the want to recycle, especially when there’s a giant dumpster right next to the recycling bins. And I often go through the process of opening up the metal bins only to find them all filled or even completely locked.
Having such a literal barrier to recycling is extremely detrimental to our efforts to be environmentally conscious at Tulsa. We have an awesome single-stream recycling plan, but it’s no good if the bins, the very last step in the process, are hindering those who wish to use it. Let’s get better bins, and more of them, since they’re overflowing more often than not when I try to use them.