Brookings community strives to improve the environment

Jamison Lamp

Jamison Lamp

Have you ever dreamed of being one mean “green” machine?

It is now easier than ever before. Options for recycling have been streamlined and made more accessible to students both on and off campus.

Sept. 2 marked the beginning of a new pick-up schedule and an expansion of the products picked up curbside.

“Changes made mean we can take glass and plastics one through seven,” Robert McGrath, Brookings’ solid waste director, said.

Recycling is picked up on Thursdays for those whose garbage is picked up on Monday, and for Tuesday garbage pick-up, recycling is picked up on Fridays. Recycling is to be placed curbside.

“There is no specific containers needed,” McGrath said, “Lots of people just use kitchen bags.”

The changes also alleviate the need for sorting recycling. All acceptable recyclable items can be placed in the same container or bag.

“I recycle; it’s easy, and it’s stupid not to,” Lori Mergen, an off-campus commuter and sophomore business major, said. “In Brookings, you don’t even have to sort.”

“It’s good for the environment; it’s easy and cost efficient,” Stephanie Schulte, a sophomore pre-pharmacy major and a commuter said.

Right now, recycling is mandatory in Brookings, but the city is still lenient in enforcing the law.

“Recycling has been mandatory since 1996,” McGrath said. “There are no fines. We are still trying to educate people.”

“Even if they do enforce it, the people that don’t recycle probably still won’t,” Schulte said. “I don’t think enforcing it would change how many people recycle.”

Property managers have also seen the need to offer recycling to their tenants.

“We offer recycling at all buildings that have Cook’s Wastepaper and Recycling pick-up,” Lori Mennis, maintenance coordinator at Mills Property Management, said. “It’s a service Cook’s offers that we extend to our tenants.”

Besides Cook’s, garbage collection companies in Brookings do not offer recycling as part of their pick-up and would require additional fees assessed to tenants. Moriarty Rentals also offers recycling for its tenants. Both property management companies said they would work with tenants to arrange for recycling needs.

Mennis said that of the two largest student apartment buildings, “Village Square has recycling. It is The Blues, or Campus View, that does not.” She also said that they review their garbage pickup contracts on an annual basis, which means apartments without recycling could have it next year.

For those that do not have the ease of on-site or curbside recycling, there are other options.

A Brookings’ Wal-Mart manager said that they have been offering recycling drop-off bins for six to eight months.

Residents and students of Brookings can recycle paper products, certain metals, plastics and now glass. All items should be rinsed and have any labels removed. For further information about curbside recycling, contact the Brookings Landfill at (605) 693-3667. Questions can also be directed to Cook’s Wastepaper and Recycling, Inc., at (605)-693-3363.