Of recycling. This does not include the secure paper that gets collected, which I would guess is at least another few thousand pounds, and it definitely doesn't include all the items that were collected during Give and Go to be reused, or any of the composting that was done (another few thousand pounds).
Yes, it is the end of the year. And over the course of the spring semester, the recycling team collected a grand total of 38,474.3 pounds of recycling. Over the course of the entire year- 65,078.4 pounds (32.5 tons). Well done, recycling team. Well done. That is the equivalent of 12 adult male Asian elephants. Or 260 newborn elephants.
I have to add that a few thousand pounds of that recycling was done in the last week of term, after finals, when everyone apparently cleaned out every single liquor bottle they had drank throughout the year. I could tell, because they had signed and dated each and every bottle, and many of them dated back to September. I'm not sure what has prompted this trend, but it certainly makes end of year recycling a lot less fun. All those glass bottles are pretty heavy.
I also found, as I was recycling, several couches, refridgerators, tvs, two countertop grills, a coffee maker, a VCR, an untold number of lamps and trash cans, about a million storage boxes of some variety, a lot of unopened beers, books, clothing, two pairs of rubber boots, bedding, pillows, a desk, hundreds of hangers, vases, and a fish bowl. Oh, and my personal favorite, a deck of Bible Go Fish cards. I'm kind of mystified by how all these things get thrown away. We do offer a pick up for unwanted items- there is a drop off in the Student Center, where items can be left to be donated to thrift stores and the food pantry. But apparently some people were uninterested in taking the time to move their goods to the appropriate place. Leaving them instead for the poor housekeepers (and me) to haul away.
So while we've done an excellent job at recycling, we've still got a ways to go. Next year let's make it the goal to reduce as much waste as possible- and not just the bottle and can kind!!
Here's a fun post on recycling written by one of my favorite people ever, the trash guru clickclackgorilla: Save the Earth with Our Easy 12-Step Program