More Accessible Recycling at Northern Illinois University

More Accessible Recycling at Northern Illinois University

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Britni Plumb started this petition to Lisa Freeman

NIU On-Campus Recycling and Eco-Activism Petition

We, the students and faculty of Northern Illinois University, would like the university to take its role in providing clear and consistent recycling options and advertising eco-activist groups on campus more seriously. NIU is a large school and we need to be cognitive of our ecological footprint, with over 16,000 students NIU produces a lot of waste, and as such, needs to be considerate in their role of providing proper waste disposal to its students and faculty. With the current system in place, there is a requirement that students and faculty put in additional effort to recycle properly and to find on-campus groups and programs which engage in eco-activism. In this petition, we identify several issues which make recycling and engaging in eco-friendly activism on campus needlessly difficult and opaque:

We ask that the university actively try and provide equal opportunities to all buildings and locations on campus to discourage environmentally harmful disposal techniques. The variation and inconsistency between buildings and locations on campus can often make it an arduous process just to get to find a recycling bin. It is also difficult to find a recycling bin outdoors as trash bins are usually all that can be found. This lack of consistent and easy to access recycling can promote less-than eco-friendly disposal habits. Through the action of providing equal recycling opportunities campus-wide, the university could actively discourage this wasteful behavior and promote greener, more eco-friendly behavior simply by giving students and faculty easy and consistent access to recycling opportunities.

We ask that the university better provide students with recycling guidelines in a simpler and easier to access manner to ensure proper recycling behavior among students/faculty. With the current lack of easy to access guidelines for disposal, it can often be confusing to determine what goes in the recycling or what gets put in the trash. Without a guide, choosing the right bin can often be a logistic gamble, especially when there exists a variety of different labels on the bins (paper, plastic, cans, or simply just “recycling”). While the school does provide guidelines on their website, it is needlessly obscured through a multi-step online search. What this means for students and faculty is that, if it isn’t obvious which bin an item belongs in, the simplest and most time-effective solution is to just dispose of the item in the trash. To avoid this wasteful behavior, we ask that the campus provide clarity for proper recycling up-front and set standard, easily accessible guidelines to encourage students to properly recycle without requiring students/faculty to seek it out themselves.

Additionally, we ask NIU for better promotion of on-campus groups and programs which engage in eco-activism. There are several programs on campus, such as the Green Office Initiative and the Green Paws Environmental Alliance, that advocate for being eco-friendly on campus, but due to the lack of exposure, most students are blatantly unaware that they exist in the first place. The lack of awareness of activist programs and groups on campus may not be entirely the fault of the university, but the university does very little in the way of providing a platform for them to attract students who may be interested. Which, when it comes to community- and involvement-based activist groups and programs like the Green Office Initiative and the Green Paws Environmental Alliance, the lack of awareness is detrimental. Through providing more exposure to groups like these, NIU could provide more opportunities for students to engage in on-campus activities, as well as introducing students to eco-activist efforts they may be interested in on campus.

With this petition, we seek to hold NIU accountable for providing an environment for students and faculty where recycling and eco-activism programs and communities are no longer needlessly obscure or difficult to access. Through providing a more eco-friendly environment, NIU could also encourage students and faculty to extend eco-conscious behavior off-campus as well. 

 By signing this petition, you agree with these proposals to promote a more consistent and clear system for recycling and to create better promotion to on-campus eco-activist groups.


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0 have signed. Let’s get to 100!
At 100 signatures, this petition is more likely to be featured in recommendations!