Recycling locations scarce for students living off campus

Bloomington residents are recycling more than ever as participation has hit a record-breaking 80 percent.

Throughout the world, there has been a surge of people who want to live a more sustainable, eco-friendly life, but they may not know the first steps in doing so.  

A sustainable lifestyle is not an easy one, but it is one that will do the whole planet good in the long run.  

One small thing that almost everyone can do to begin an ecofriendly lifestyle is move toward recycling more.  

Recycling not only prevents select used products from going into landfills and polluting the air and land, but it also allows what we put out into the world to be reused in a positive way.  

Recycling begins with a big blue bin marked for the items to be recycled. Figuring out what can and cannot be recycled is sometimes a tricky process. Most paper products, aluminum cans and cardboard can be recycled.

Smaller scraps of paper or plastic are too small to go through the recycling process. Pizza boxes cannot be recycled due to the grease that seeps into the box.  

One issue largely seen with recycling is the lack of locations where it is offered. For example, where I live back home, the garbage company does not offer recycling in our area, taking away our opportunity to help the earth.  

I would constantly keep a bag of my recyclables just waiting to bring back to school. In this case, you can always try to reach out to your elected officials about your issues and your demands and hope for change.  

In many low-income areas, recycling is not offered at all. This is a shame and completely unfair to people who want to try and help.  

There are many problems with recycling, especially when not everything is accepted for recycling, but there is still such a need for it. It may seem like the smallest contribution to the environment, but I can promise it is worth it in the end.  

There are so many benefits to recycling, and sometimes you can even earn money back. There are ten states that have provided “bottle bills,” allowing places where cans and bottles are recycled to pay for the recyclables.  

In Michigan and other states in the Midwest, you can find bottle deposits in almost all grocery store fronts. Other locations are typically around the coasts. You can also get money back from recycling your electronics in places like malls or Best Buy stores.  

Recycling is an easy process, if you just make the effort. Follow the steps of many others and help your community little by little today. 

If you have an issue with recycling in the Mclean County area, you can reach out to the officials at the McLean County Government website or call at (309) 888-5001.

AUGUST MUNOZ is a Blogger for The Vidette. She can be contacted at Follow her on Twitter at @munoz_august

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