Law students living in the Lawyers Club, a residence hall within the Law Quad, are crying foul over what they call a surprising void of recycling receptacles in the storied building’s hallways.
Unlike other residence halls on campus, there are no recycling bins available within the halls or rooms in the Lawyers Club. Instead, residents there have to walk to a central location in order to recycle — a hassle that some students say is forcing would-be recyclers to simply throw things in the trash.
Second-year Law student Eric Mao, who used to live in the Lawyers Club, said it was difficult to recycle while living in the residence hall.
“There weren’t any recycling bins in our actual dorm area,” Mao said. “We would have to walk to a lounge that’s separate from the residential building.”
Mao said residents were more likely to throw their recyclables in the trash, given the close proximity of trashcans in their rooms and halls. He added that he thinks if bins were added around the building, students and staff would certainly recycle more often.
The Lawyers Club building is divided into blocks, with each consisting of four to five rooms. Though none have any recycling bins, those living within the Lawyers Club can recycle by taking materials to a central location in the building.
Diane Nafranowicz, director of the Lawyers Club, said the reason there are no recycling bins in residential areas is that they cause a safety hazard if students need to leave in an emergency.
“Right now, in any of the physical buildings, there isn’t a plastic or paper recycling in the hallway because of the physical layout of the building,” Nafranowicz said. “With one means of egress, the fire marshal doesn’t allow anything in those stairwells.”
Besides student housing, the Lawyers Club contains an area of office space called Block P. The Law School is temporarily renting the space from the Lawyers Club for use while its facilities are being expanded and renovated over the next two years.
Though the office spaces in Block P produce a lot of paper waste just like any other office would, there currently aren’t any means to recycle there either. Officials from the Law School and Lawyers Club disagree on who is in charge of overseeing recycling in Block P.
Law School officials claim the responsibility for recycling in Block P falls on the Lawyers Club. But Lawyers Club officials said because the offices are a part of the Law School, it’s the school’s responsibility to monitor the recycling program.
Nafranowicz said there are currently plans in the works to install recycling bins in Block P, though she couldn’t specify a timeline.
Aliza Cohen, a second-year Law student and president of the Law School Student Senate, said that recycling has “been a concern of the student body for a while.” But, she added that the Senate has only been minimally involved in the recycling issue.
“Student Senate has largely been aware of the issue, but we’ve been also aware that the Environmental Law Society has been working on it as a part of their initiatives, so we haven’t been really doing much,” Cohen said.
Edward Schexnayder, a second-year Law student and an officer in the Environmental Law Society, wasn’t willing to disclose any details, but he said the group is working with the Lawyers Club to improve the recycling situation.
“We are hoping to work with (administrators) in coming up with a way for students in the Lawyers Club to have more immediate recycling access,” Schexnayder said.
Schexnayder has never lived in the Lawyers Club, but agreed recycling in the building is a problem.
“In order to recycle, you have to take all of your stuff out of the quad and walk it all the way over (to the central recycling location), which can be a significant hurdle,” Schexnayder said.
Carl Margrabe, second-year Law student and former Lawyers Club resident, shared similar sentiments.
He said students tend to throw away materials as a matter of convenience, rather than traveling across the Law Quad to recycle.
If bins were around the area, Margrabe added, then people would use them.
“I’m sure most people want to recycle,” he said. “It’s just not something you’re going to go completely out of your way to do.”