Illini Tower residents want building more eco-friendly



By Jennifer Wheeler

Despite the Illini Tower slogan, which in part promotes eco-friendly living, some residents are saying they are unsatisfied with the lack of recycling initiatives Illini Tower has taken toward becoming environmentally friendly.

Rebecca Powers, leasing and marketing manager of Illini Tower, said the current recycling program consists of two recycling bins for paper located in the mail room and people “have been talking over aluminum and glass bins too.”

“Most people won’t care that much to go downstairs from the 16th floor to recycle” said Yanyan Xu, a three-year resident and junior in Business.

Xu suggested that management place recycling bins in each floor’s trash areas to make it more convenient for residents to recycle.

Powers said Illini Tower is working toward implementing a recycling program on every floor, but management has to decide who would be in charge of moving each floor’s recycling bin to the main recycling bin for pickup. She also said they have to develop a plan that would not cause an insect problem in the building.

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    “We always strive to get better as a company; new ideas and plans come about all the time, timing is a key ingredient in making things work,” Powers said in regards to why the Illini Tower only recycles paper at this time.

    While Illini Tower is working toward implementing a more extensive building-wide recycling program, individual floors have started their own recycling programs.

    “(On Wednesday), I purchased a recycle bin for every room on my floor because that’s all we have for recycling at IT,” said Meghan Hartmann, resident advisor and sophomore in AHS. “Residents have expressed a lot of interest in it, so I see a lot of good things in the future for recycling.”

    Powers said timing was everything when making changes to becoming environmentally friendly and meets frequently with private certified housing to think of new and better recycling ideas.

    Despite the residents’ criticisms on the current recycling program, Illini Tower has implemented many other strategies to making the resident hall more environmentally friendly Powers said.

    Powers said such changes include purchasing aluminum mugs to distribute to next year’s returning students and potential residents, distributing biodegradable pens to guidance counselors and high school representatives for potential residents and providing green recyclable bags to touring residents.

    She also said the new, upgraded appliances Illini Tower purchases yearly are environmentally friendly.

    “Our refrigerators are high efficiency,” Powers said. “We do have our newer stoves are the same, our newer air conditioners, we have low flow toilets and our washers and dryers downstairs do have features where they can have lower level of water.”

    Despite the going green efforts Illini Tower has implemented so far, some residents said they were not aware of the steps Illini Tower has taken toward going green.

    “The greenest thing I’ve seen is the guacamole wall,” said returning resident Mitchell Paglia, sophomore in LAS, in reference to the wall color in his room.