ASUU backs recycling

By By Rochelle McConkie

By Rochelle McConkie

The ASUU Senate unanimously passed a bill Thursday night granting $25,000 to the new recycling program, adding the “student portion” to the $350,000 put out by the U administration for the cause.

The sum is the first of two payments adding up to $50,000 the Associated Students of the University of Utah hopes to give to recycling this year. Because the student government constitution limits the amount of money that can be petitioned for at one time to $25,000, ASUU leaders will present another bill to the Senate and General Assembly in the spring asking for the remaining half.

“We negotiated with administrators for the best method (to fund recycling),” said ASUU President Spencer Pearson. “We wanted to see it through in our administration and be true to our word.”

The bill passed overwhelmingly in the Assembly on Tuesday. Pearson must now sign the bill for it to take effect.

The money will come from ASUU’s general reserve fund, which now contains more than $360,000 accumulated from student fees. U facilities management will use the money to pay for bins and program start-up costs.

Later in the year, ASUU leaders will propose an amendment to Redbook, the student constitution, allowing them to budget between $4,000 and $6,000 annually to the recycling program for general upkeep and ongoing costs.

“We need some money now, but in the spring we’ll go back and gauge it, and ask for the remaining $25,000,” said College of Humanities Senator Liz Clark, who co-sponsored the bill.

This year, extra money was budgeted to the Recycling and Sustainability Board to subsidize recycling outreach and marketing efforts.

Patrick Reimherr, director of the board, said the recycling program will end up paying for itself.

“A lot of people don’t know that we sell the paper and get money back,” Reimherr said. “All in all, it’s a very profitable program.”

Since the effort was initiated in June, more than 5,500 personal bins, 1,700 classroom bins and 400 curbside bins have been distributed throughout campus, including one in every Residence Hall room. Although the program is limited to paper right now, for every ton of “mixed paper” collected, $64 will be returned and for every ton of “office pack” — typical white paper usually found in an office — $140 will be returned to the U.

Although some senators questioned exactly what the money will be used for, the bill was passed without much argument.

“This has been a long time in the making,” Clark said.

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