Visiting the Sustainability Office for last week’s class was a very eye opening opportunity. I was unaware that OSU had a sustainability office, recycling building and a compost plant. I learned so much about the little things OSU does to be more sustainable, and how those small actions all lead up to making a huge impact. Some things I learned OSU does to be more sustainable is the fact that we have an upholstery facility, where a lot of the furniture on campus and in residential life are taken for repairs. We also compost everything we can except for food, simply because the legal permits necessary to compost food are hard to obtain. OSU ends up saving hundreds of thousands of food waste, cardboard and trash waste from going into a landfill. Cardboard and paper bundles are bought and sold just like any other commodity, and the university actually makes money from recycling. I had no idea that recycled items are sold like this, but I am still confused as to what happens to the bundles after they are bought by someone.
Visiting these facilities was very beneficial to me because I learned more about what exactly can be recycled, and that it is very available at OSU. Some small changes I can make are to be more aware of emptying containers before recycling them and checking labels to make sure they can be recycled in the first place. It was new to me that not all cardboard can be recycled. Old pizza boxes are unable to be recycled because of the grease and food residue. Overall, small changes like being more aware of what I recycle and the condition it is in when I recycle it, can make it much easier and more effective in the long run. I am thankful for this opportunity to see OSU’s recycling efforts in action!