Lipscomb University’s campus appears environmentally conscious, with recycling receptacles located adjacent to most trash cans in The Square.
However, in 2016, Lipscomb’s Student Government Association decided that there were better uses for student funds than large-scale recycling options on campus.
Yet, student interest was proven last spring when now-senior Lauren Borders helped host a recycling event.
“We put together this event to get people talking and to prove to administration that recycling was something that could be done on Lipscomb’s campus,” she said.
The event collected 189 pounds of recyclables from students, who took the load to a nearby facility.
Dr. Josh Roberts, Dean of Student Development spoke of the school’s past recycling efforts.
“We used to operate a large-scale recycling initiative through Earth Savers, and that was funded through $15-20,000 a year from a subsidy that SGA provided,” Roberts said.
Student body president Sierra Sparks elaborated on why SGA chose to use their funds elsewhere.
“Our job is to enhance the student experience and be able to give Lipscomb students something to want to come to and want to look forward to.”
The $15,000 spent on recycling could take up over half of the SGA budget, depending on the year.
“Don’t get me wrong, I think recycling is very important… But sometimes it’s okay to say that that’s not what SGA does,” Sparks said.
As far as the future of sustainability on campus is concerned, Borders is hopeful.
“There is a possibility that there could be some administration shifts toward more environmental policies, and there is a new SGA proposal in the works,” she said.
“Service operations does everything that they can, within their means, to try to [be] environmentally conscious with trash and debris,” Roberts said, adding that many offices that go through large quantities of copy paper recycle the waste on a smaller scale.
If you are concerned about your carbon footprint and are looking for recycling opportunities, you can take your recyclable debris to the back of Hillsboro High School, located on Hillmont Drive. The facility has different bins for various materials, including a Goodwill drop-off area for gently-used clothes and furniture.