Resource Conservation Challenges
What are some of the current goals/issues/programs the department is focusing on?
Current goals include:
- Expanding on campus composting efforts to reduce food waste.
- Updating campus bins and signage. Now that we have had recycling in some building for almost a decade, its time to revisit those buildings and be sure they have enough bins, their bins are utilizing the right signage, in the right places, and being emptied appropriately. This is a timely process and requires staffing and purchasing of new bins. While we do have some bins we can move around, we have no money to purchase brand new ones. We do not have an operating budget.
- Training and Education. Due to high turnover over BSA teams, we have to re-train year round on how to recycle and why it’s a priority. The same goes for staff, the university is always getting new staff or staff is moving offices. We want to be sure the staff always have a desk side-recycling container and its being properly emptied. We also want to know they understand what can go into the container.
Future goals or plans for the recycling program at WKU?
- Prioritizing waste reduction and food recovery over recycling and composting. We want to lessen the university's waste from the source in order to make a more sustainable impact.
- Surplus and recycling staffing. Due to limited staffing we are supplementing our full time workload with students. It’s hard to determine what is more of a priority on some days, recycling or surplus? Better aligning the work loads with how much staffing we have is needed.
- Marketing. So many departments and students have no idea we exist or what we do. We are an essential campus function, especially when it comes to surplus. We want everyone to understand our staffing and our setup so they can better understand what role they play in disposing of trash, recycling, and surplus
What are some of the biggest challenges facing the department currently?
- Lack of staffing to move surplus and recycling in a timely manner during the busiest times of year
- Outdated and incorrect signage on bins
- New buildings not having bins
- Residence Halls having to adhered to different fire codes (thus preventing recycling of cardboard in the halls)
- Work demands of surplus take away staffing from recycling.