From the vending machine to your hands to the Union’s plastic recycling bin to the curb outside then to a truck that brings it to Rocky Mountain Recycling plant, where it is sorted, shredded, melted and used to make another product (which probably ends up back in the vending machine). In a perfect world, this is the ideal cycle for a water bottle.
The U has invested time and money into creating a recycling program that is easy for students on the go, yet plenty of recyclable material gets lost along the way. The custodial staff has to toss at least one bag of recycling a day when students contaminate it, such as by throwing a can of open soda into the paper recycling bin. Barbara Bingle, custodial crew leader, is frustrated by how many bags of recycling she throws out daily because of this.