Every hour close to 55 million plastic bottles are discarded worldwide.

That’s 1.3 billion per day or almost 1 million per minute, 91% of which are not recycled.

What part does WCC play in this? How many bottles do we generate, and what can we do to reduce our dependence on single use drinks containers? We don’t know exactly how many bottles are discarded on campus daily. WCC tracks the bottles that get recycled, but if a bottle is placed in a trash or ‘landfill’ bin it doesn’t get counted.

In academic year 2018/19 WCC recycled 8989.3lbs (4.5 tons) of plastic bottles. This is equivalent in weight to 174,889 individual 20oz plastic pop bottles (EPA IWarm). The energy saved from recycling these bottles could run a 36” CRT TV for 176,168 hours (EPA IWarm).

To imagine this quantity visualize the lap pool of the Health and Fitness Center. The lap pool holds 70,000 gallons of water. If we were to empty it and throw all WCC’s recycled plastic bottles in there it would be ¾ full in 12 months, we would fill it in 16 months. If you add the bottles that get placed in the landfill container and don’t get recycled it’s extremely likely that the pool would be overflowing within 12 months.

The number one goal is to REDUCE the amount of material we discard. Try to use fewer single use bottles. Use a refillable container, you’ll save money as well as reduce waste. Drink more water (from a refillable container) and fewer alternatives such as sodas and fruit juices.

The second goal is REUSE. If you forgot your refillable bottle and had to buy a bottle of water, refill the bottle as many times as possible instead of buying a second or third bottle. Use the bottle as many times as you can prior to discarding it.

The third goal is to RECYCLE. If you have a bottle that has to be discarded look for the recycle bins. On campus the ‘Bottles and Cans’ bins are green. Place your bottle in the bins marked for “Bottles and Cans” and it will get recycled.

If you want more information or have questions contact Becky at Ext 5312 or rjandrews@wccnet.edu