Many Ohio State students enjoy the social life that campus-area bars provide. Throughout the weekend, anyone walking down High Street at Ohio State can see a large number of students lining the street, waiting to get into their favorite bar. Due to this large amount of business, these bars ultimately produce a huge amount of waste.
This led our group to wonder, how much of this waste is actually being recycled? We interviewed employees at 11 off-campus bars, and found that most do not have a recycling program. Additionally, all of the employees felt that their bars were isolated from the city, the campus, or both.
We thought, why not kill two birds with one stone and build community while also cleaning up off-campus bars? To do this, we suggest using student groups along with the university to encourage nearby businesses to utilize the city’s curbside recycling program to its full potential. The university prides itself on its sustainability practices and strives to become an exemplary model of how to interact with the environment. This same level of leadership is not reflected into the surrounding community.
Our group suggests implementing an extension of Ohio State’s Green Buckeyes program to include off-campus businesses. Green Buckeyes is a program within OSU’s Sustainability Office that was created to encourage sustainability in campus offices.
We encourage launching such a recycling program with competitions, which will not only help in advertising for the bars, but would also help raise awareness for recycling in general. In addition to the competitions, bars would also receive Green Buckeye insignias that they can use to show that they care about the environment and are part of the recycling program.