Since the beginning of the fall semester, staff member Johnnie King has noticed that UH students are doing their part to fill up recycling bins. As supervisor of Recycling and Solid Waste in Plant Operations, King said he must rely on student workers to help him sort through the vast amount of recyclables that the campus generates on a weekly basis. And now that the university has added Freon to the recycling list, King’s days are extra busy. "We’re still recycling batteries, plastics, metal, cardboard, we recycle whatever we can."
Nothing, however, can be compared to a recent Saturday when the UH football team hosted Texas Tech. With a record crowd in attendance, the Recycling and Solid Waste workers figured they’d be swamped with work. Countless people came out to tailgate. And when the game had ended, and the Cougars came out victorious, "It was like a battle zone," King said in describing the mountains of waste that flooded the stadium and the campus. "When our team won, we knew the students weren’t going home any time soon."
The day after the game, King remembered, "We ended up with 20 bags of recycling from the stadium, and 12 tons of trash after the game. It took eight hours to clean the parking lots. We cleaned from the General Services area all the way to old KUHT."
Not that he’s complaining. King mentioned that Homecoming will happen on October 24th. He said he knows that when thousands of people attend the game it means that tons of cans and bottles will be recycled, and it’s just one more way for the campus to contribute to the university’s sustainability efforts.