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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    “Student unions aim to bolster recycling efforts, stop waste”

    Brittany Portman, a microbiology freshman, fills out an order slip at Cactus Grill on March 13. Thousands of paper slips are wasted everyday at the campus restaurants.
    Brittany Portman, a microbiology freshman, fills out an order slip at Cactus Grill on March 13. Thousands of paper slips are wasted everyday at the campus restaurants.

    With the whole world thinking green, the UA’s student unions are trying to keep pace by switching to recyclable colored order slips in many of its dining locations, one of a few potential changes planned for the future.

    Customers use the slips to write down their orders for the cooks and the cashiers.

    “”At this point, over half of the paper is recyclable,”” said Larry Jones, assistant director of student unions. “”The student union formed a committee about two months ago, and that was the top priority.””

    The first step was to get the colored order slips shifted over to recyclable colored paper, Jones said.

    “”We’re going to be using the restaurants as the collecting points, and the actual final drop point for them will be Fast Copy,”” he said.

    Currently, public drop-off bins will recycle white paper and newsprint, but not colored paper, Jones said.

    The Fast Copy colored-paper recycling is intended for internal colored-paper recycling, but it would like to add public bins near food areas in the future, Jones said.

    Cactus Grill supervisor Kristi Edmond said the restaurant orders around 30,000 paper slips a week. The slips come in blue, gold orange, lavender, pink and tan, colors previously not recyclable.

    Once the slips are used, the cashiers or customers throw them away, she said.

    “”Recycling is always on the table for how we can do it better and more efficiently,”” said Victoria Christie, associate director of dining services.

    The Park Student Union uses about 600 order slips a day in three different areas, said food service supervisor Lupita Lopez.

    Customers use both white and colored paper ordered through Fast Copy, Lopez said.

    “”Once they’re done we throw them away,”” she said. “”They just become trash.””

    The PSU and the Student Union Memorial Center are recycling heavily in other areas, she said.

    “”We recycle every cardboard box, aluminum cans, newspaper and plastic bottles,”” Lopez said. “”We have two recycling pick-ups every day, with the exception of Saturday and Sunday.””

    Another big recycling issue in the student unions is the number of polystyrene take-out containers wasted, she said.

    “”Despite that we offer china plates and real silverware, we still see the entire dining area full of to-go containers,”” Lopez said. “”It’s part of the culture, but it’s unbelievable- the amount of waste.””

    Lopez said the unions would like to start sending out organic materials to be composted and look into using biodegradable corn starch recycling containers.

    “”They’re very expensive,”” Lopez said about the containers. “”So as long as people are willing to pay for the added cost, I would love to work in that direction.””

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