The Chronicle’s View: Garbage in, garbage out? Not in this case

Three members of the U’s administration took one step closer to creating a comprehensive recycling program at the U recently with their decision to donate funds totaling $7,000 to the Associated Students of the University of Utah’s recycling initiative.

However, the step may not be the one many students had anticipated or hoped for.

As opposed to the pilot recycling program, which had been proposed by Micah Jeppsen, director of auxiliary services, and others at ASUU, U administrators donated the $7,000 in order to help fund a feasibility study intended to determine whether or not a recycling program at the U would be realistic.

The funds donated by the administrators are going to be coupled with $5,000 already generated by Jeppsen and ASUU in the hope of determining when a recycling program could make its way to the U, how it would best operate and how much the program would theoretically cost.

But, while some students may not be satisfied by a feasibility study alone, the administration’s decision is not surprising or negative.

It is logical for executives at an institution of higher education like the U to hold off on a decision of this magnitude until all the pertinent information has been compiled.

The administrators’ decision is even more understandable when the potential cost of a recycling program at the U-a cost that could possibly be measured in seven digits, if the price of Utah State University’s recycling program is any indication-is taken into consideration.

The benefits of a recycling program at the U are many, and almost all are hinged on the fact that the U maintains a student population of more than 28,000 and an on-campus population of nearly 40,000-many of whom use and discard paper and plastic products daily. The amount of recyclable material that is being discarded every day is staggering.

As opposed to being upset about the decision to fund a feasibility study instead of an actual trial based recycling program, U students ought to be thankful that any money whatsoever is being dedicated to the initiative. With the long list of budget requests facing administrators this semester, the $7,000 that was donated is a welcomed addition.

It is also nice to see administrators working to realize an initiative that has garnered widespread student support.

Students have been vocal in their desire to create a recycling program at the U, and that administrators are willing to donate funds to help make this desire a reality is refreshing and can be seen as a first step toward a permanent solution.