Revamped recycling bins usher in Creation Stewardship Week

Biola is making environmentally friendly changes to campus in light of Creation Stewardship Week.


Ashleigh Fox/THE CHIMES

Katie Nelson, Writer

Biola places new recycling bins all around campus during Creation Stewardship Week. | Ashleigh Fox/THE CHIMES

In light of Earth day and Creation Stewardship Week, both of which took place this week, many students have noticed the new trash and recycling bins cropping up all over campus. The newly implemented bins have come just days after Biola was named one of the 322 most environmentally friendly colleges by the Princeton Review.

The recycling bins — each paired with a trash bin — were placed in front of the Student Union Building, the dorms and several classroom buildings, and are labeled with items that are appropriate for recycling, such as paper, plastic and cardboard. The trash bins are engraved with suggestions to recycle things that are able to be reused.


There are 96 bins total, 48 for recycling and 48 for garbage, according to Phillips. Each bin cost $475, totalling approximately $45,000 for all the bins.

“It’s something we’ve been trying to do for a long time,” Brian Phillips, director of facilities services, said. “We’ve been experimenting with different types of trash cans. Until now, we hadn’t landed on something that we thought would look OK and is functional.”

Biola’s Environmental Care Club has been urging administration to adopt more available bins, according to senior Stephanie Stater, vice president of Environmental Care Club and student liaison for the Creation Stewardship Committee. Phillips echoed the fact that both students and facilities employees involved with the committee have been pushing for the addition for a while.

“They mentioned that we don’t have any place to recycle anything, and that we don’t even have proper trash bins. And even with the recycle bins [which were already available], nobody knows what can go in the blue bins,” Stater said, referring to the lack of labelling on the old bins.

Students have noticed and welcomed the bins’ presence on campus, according to Jessica De La Paz, a junior intercultural studies major. She is glad Biola is now giving students the opportunity to recycle without having to leave campus.

“Students [had] to recycle on their own and take it off campus to some kind of recycling center and as college students, we just don’t have that kind of time,” De La Paz said.


This is the third annual Creation Stewardship Week, which began after Mark McReynolds, professor of environmental science and chair of the Creation Stewardship Committee, instated environmental science as a program at Biola.

Stewardship week includes showing two films, including the acclaimed documentary “Food, Inc.” was shown Tuesday at 7 p.m. in Business Building 109. The Humane Society’s “Eating Mercifully,” a film about farming practices from a Christian perspective, will premiere on campus on Friday also at 7 p.m. in Business Building 109.

Creation Stewardship Week is one way Biola has taken a step forward in acknowledging the need for environmental awareness, according to McReynolds. However, he said it still has a long way to go.

“There are folks that started environmental science or environmental studies majors 20 years ago in Christian institutions, so in this particular aspect of things, Biola has been behind,” McReynolds said. “But Biola, I think, is starting to become aware that it is behind, and is making progress. And … the recycling bins are part of that."

Part of the reason conservative colleges and churches have fallen behind in making environmental improvements is their tendency to side with the Republican Party, which has historically cared less about environmentalism than its liberal counterparts, according to Reynolds.

“In the States [global warming] has become so politicized, and then our faith is so connected to different political parties that it has just made it really messy,” he said.

In spite of differing political agendas, Stater believes caring for the earth is a God-given mandate.

“I think … people kind of take the scenery around campus for granted a little bit,” she said. “[It’s important for] people to go out of their comfort zone and going to the beach and … seeing it through the eyes of God that he made it, and he cared for it and he loves it, just as much as he loves us.”

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