The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

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Keeping Bryan-College Station environmentally friendly

Drive-in+centers+and+curbside+pickup+are+available+in+Bryan+and+College+Station+respectively+for+residents+interested+in+recycling.%26%23160%3B
Photo by Photo by Savannah Skrivanek

Drive-in centers and curbside pickup are available in Bryan and College Station respectively for residents interested in recycling. 

When driving through residential streets in Bryan, students may notice a lack of recycling bins along the curbs.
In 1996, the city of Bryan opened a drive-in center for recycling and it has been citizen’s only option for recycling despite College Station having free curbside recycling pickup since 1991.
Although the city has seen an increase in recycling over the years, according to environmental operations supervisor Jared Birkhead, city officials have noted that there seems to be a lack of understanding regarding the recycling services available.
“I think recycling is pretty new to this area in Texas in general,” Birkhead said. “You know if you go up North, they are very pro-recycling just because the price of land is so much more expensive in those areas. Landfills are still generally cheaper here, in Texas as a whole, therefore it’s cheaper to run them, cheaper to dispose of them. But we understand the recycling aspect, the environmental impact, so that’s why we offer those services. Because we do want to do our part.”
In addition to using the free drive-in, residents in Bryan can pay to have Brazos Valley Recycling pick up their recyclables every two weeks.
“We just kind of leave it open to whatever is most comfortable to the citizen,” Birkhead said. “They both have their pros and cons. There’s no perfect recycling system or solid waste system. We think we can capture most people with these two options available.”
In College Station, Brazos Valley Recycling does curbside pickup at no additional charge to citizens, however the company is paid from residents’ monthly sanitation fee.
“At present the provision of recycling collection and associated public education programs account for approximately $3.18 out of the $14.40 monthly sanitation fee,” said Heather Woolwine, Recycling and Environmental Compliance Manager for College Station. “The residential recycling collection services was initiated as a pilot program in 1990. In 1991 it was decided based off of the success of the program to expand the service city wide.”
In 2017, the city of Bryan recycled 750 tons during the fiscal year. In College Station, 2,690.33 tons were recycled from residential dwellings.
Environmental studies freshman Hollie Schaper lives at an apartment complex in College Station. Despite having some challenges with the complex, Schaper said she and her roommates have still found ways to recycle.
“We recycle, but we have to take it somewhere because my apartment complex doesn’t do recycling,” Schaper said. “We take it to one of our roommate’s grandma’s house.”
Bryan officials said they hope that as time goes on, more citizens will become aware of the available recycling options.
“You will see a correlation — as curbside becomes more popular, the drive through is going to go down [in use],” Birkhead said. “The only difference in our drive through is that we’re not limited to Bryan. You can live in Huntsville, you can live in Navasota, you can live anywhere outside the city, in the country and you can still bring your recyclables there.”

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