ASI Recycling Center’s employee tries to lead by example

BThe assistant manager at the Associated Student Inc. Recycling Center, Eric Bryan, said he lives life following one simple motto: recycle or die.

Bryan and Lee Johnson, the recycling coordinator at the ASI Recycling Center, said they believe that recycling is essential for a greener planet.

“In general, recycling saves resources, uses less energy and eliminates the need to landfill the recyclable materials,” Johnson said.

Bryan is a senior journalism student at California State University, Long Beach. Working full time at the recycling center makes it difficult for Bryan to be a full time student, so he said he usually takes the classes that he can get.

“I have been chasing six units for about four years, but I would hesitate to call myself a student at this point,” Bryan said. “It feels more like filing paperwork.”

Bryan’s passion for recycling came later in life when he met his fiancée at school. His fiancée is from a family of avid recyclers, and they introduced Bryan to the world of recycling when he and his fiancée got engaged.

Bryan became homeless shortly after meeting his fiancée, but he started working at the ASI Recycling center part-time to earn some money. He said he would try to pick up as much hours as he could to get back on his feet.

“Lee needed someone to fill in an extra eight hours each week over the summer and I needed the money,” Bryan said. “It is good work, it is hard work, but I think our ultimate goal is worth the time and effort.”

Bryan said the ultimate goal for the ASI Recycling Center is keeping recyclables out of landfills and incinerators. Bryan said that recycling is the cleanest and most efficient alternative because no matter how hot incinerators get, the plastics and aluminum have to go somewhere.

The recycling center also aims to provide friendly and simple service to anyone who enters, which Bryan said he believes is what sets ASI apart from the rest of the competitors.

Jacob Harr, a junior studying aerospace engineering and one of Bryan’s employees, said he acknowledges the hard work that Bryan does for the recycling center and his subordinates.

“He is a great boss,” Harr said. “He always knows what is going on and gives us room so he is not always jumping at our throats, so we can actually get work done without being attacked.”

According to Harr, a regular day for Bryan starts off in the morning when he gets all the money and paper work, and he gives his subordinates their tasks to complete. On a busy day when there is less manpower, Bryan jumps in to help out too.

Bryan said he has one simple message for all CSULB students: don’t throw recyclables in the trash.

“Whenever you make a mistake with recycling your garbage, someone here or someone at a project planting facilities management has to dig it out,” Bryan said. “So do not be a pile of garbage and look before you throw something away.”

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