By Hayley Hart/ Staff Writer
Students can walk from the Harvey Way side to the Conant Street side of the LAC and spot dozens of trash cans, but only a speckling of blue recycle bins and those with strong legs and superior seeking skills might find the two special purple recycling bins.
The blue bins are in place at the college through the Conservation Corps of Long Beach. The City of Long Beach Environmental Department donated the purple bins last spring to the Eco Club, said environmental science professor Kim Hatch, who is also an Eco Club adviser. The Eco Club puts the money toward their club needs.
The skinny blue bins in many classrooms are meant for paper items and the big-lidded blue bins allow for bottles, cans and paper and seem to be placed randomly and sparsely. Both types of blue bins have some flaws. The bins in classrooms are often obscured partially or completely by desks or tables. If people can’t find them, they can’t use them.
Student Susan Usas, who is attending LBCC to enrich her education, is a recycler at home; “Yes. We have two giant cans with recyclables. We are planning to take them over to get the money from them, but taking the bus to do that is difficult.” And outside of the home, “I always look for a recycle bin when I need one.” Usas was unaware of the purple bins, but has seen some blue bins around.
Hatch and fellow Eco Club adviser and Janét Hund, a sociology professor, agree having recycling bins contributes to teaching people about recycling. Hund said having recycling containers “helps to shape more environmental consciousness in a consumer.”
Hatch said having recycling bins “typically yields better quality materials and is a teaching opportunity to instruct people about the importance of recycling.” Hatch also said the school uses a service to sort the trashcans for recyclables, but said that removes the learning opportunity and usually has a lower return of recyclables. Another flaw of the big blue bins is the lid. While it is a recycle bin, it is for refuse and the wadded up paper left on top of one lid suggests people don’t want to lay hands on the bin lid, but it also shows the people on campus want to recycle.
Hund said the purple bins are outside the D Building and on the Carson Street side of the T Building, but the one outside the D Building was not found Wednesday, Aug. 26. A bin was spotted south of the Q Building on Monday morning, Aug. 31.
The bins not only look snazzy, but they have a hole at the top so the environmentally conscious can save Mother Earth without grasping a potentially sticky lid, making them more user-friendly than their blue-lidded cousin.
The money made from the recyclables goes to buying needed items for the Eco Club. The two bins, so far, have only yielded the Eco Club around $10, Hund said, with a bottle or can being worth 5 cents. Purple bins help the Eco Club and blue bins help the city.