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In the fall of 2013, Weber State University joined with the city of Ogden in an effort to promote glass recycling. Ogden had three locations for residents to recycle glass, with a fourth location now on the WSU main campus.
According to WSU’s sustainability webpage, the university recycled about 17 percent of all waste last year. This is 17 percent less than the national average, according to the Environmental Protection Agency as of 2011.
“In general I feel recycling is important,” said student sustainability coordinator Hanna Rice in an email. “Every day we use numerous products that can be recycled . . . Glass recycling has big payoffs; it saves raw materials from being used, lessening demand for energy.”
Responding to the repeated concern of recycling at WSU, the university has decided to make glass recycling more convenient for students, faculty and staff by having a location on campus.
To show the progress of the glass being recycled at WSU, sustainability coordinator Alice Mulder’s geography class will measure the recycling weekly and host weekly tables in the Shepherd Union Building to promote the Recyclemania competition.
“Our goal is to educate the WSU community about the many items one can recycle on a daily basis,” Mulder said. “We hope this campaign will increase our recycling rate by at least 10 percent.”
Glass doesn’t break down like plastic and aluminum does, so it can be recycled over and over again. According to the National Park Service, the United States throws out enough glass per week to fill a 1,350-foot building. It could reduce landfills by almost a quarter in a year if Americans recycled more often.
Student fees are being used to facilitate the cost of the WSU glass recycling program, which costs $200 per pickup. To minimize cost as much as possible, WSU will have Monument Recycling, the company Ogden City works with, pick up once a month.
Momentum Recycling started in 2008, with its headquarters located in Salt Lake City, when it was primarily offering recycling in the Salt Lake area. Due to the growing demand, it has expanded to neighboring cities throughout the Wasatch Front.
Starting in 2012, Momentum Recycling adopted a zero-tolerance policy toward waste, and added recycling glass to its program. Government agencies such as the Salt Lake City Department of Public Works, the Salt Lake County Recycling Information Office and the Utah Department of Environmental Quality’s Division of Air Quality all work alongside Momentum Recycling to make sure recyclables are properly taken care of.
Ogden City has glass recycling bins located at Bonneville Park (360 Monroe Blvd.), the green waste disposal site (1845 Monroe Blvd.), Ogden High School (2828 Harrison Blvd.) and the southwest side of WSU’s Stewart Stadium.