An Alternative to Dead Batteries being Buried in Landfills

Photo by: Hannah Remmert
Photo by: Hannah Remmert

Recycling on the Miami University campus goes beyond basic glass-paper-plastic as Miami’s Green Team offers both battery and used printer cartridge recycling services.
Run almost entirely by student volunteers, the Green Team, a group dedicated to improving environmental sustainability on campus, collects batteries and used ink cartridges from the multiple campus drop-off locations where they are then sorted and boxed to be picked up and taken to a recycle site in Hamilton, Ohio.
According to sophomore Carolyn Turner, co-chair and treasurer of Green Team, “We receive a good amount of batteries and printer cartridges, but for a campus this size, battery and ink cartridge recycling is definitely something that could be improved upon.”
Maureen Harter, assistant director of the Outdoor Pursuit Center offered insight to the convenience of the many drop-off locations.
“For me, the recycling system here is super convenient. I used it as a Miami student, and even as an upperclassmen, my roommate and I would save these sorts of recyclables and drive down to drop them off every two weeks or so. Now that I’m working at the Rec, it’s super convenient to have the drop-off location upstairs.”
However, when asked about campus-wide effectiveness, Harter noted “I wish it was marketed better. Perhaps if staff and students were sent an email about the location centers.”
Drop-off centers for batteries are located in King Library, the Rec Center, Farmer School of Business, Wells Hall, Best Library, and Pearson Hall (ink cartridge recycling in the basement).
Recycling these items is less common than the basic glass-paper-plastic recycling, but it is just as important. Batteries are composed of many heavy metals. If thrown away, they get placed in a landfill, where they are prone to corrosion, which could pollute both the soil and water sources.
If recycled, batteries can be taken apart and many of the metals reused to make new batteries or other products. Likewise, if used ink cartridges are recycled, they can easily be made into new cartridges.
Turner said, “By recycling printer cartridges, you’re saving resources in the long run, as they are easily reusable. With batteries, you’re saving the environment in the long run by keeping toxins out of our landfills.”

Photo by: Hannah Remmert
Photo by: Hannah Remmert

Written by: Hannah Remmert

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