BOZEMAN, Mont. - Around the United States, people celebrated Earth Day today and, for one group of students at Montana State, that meant getting their hands dirty.
MSU students and staff tell NBC Montana Earth Day acts as a good reminder of something they say should be done every day of the year -- recycling.
"It's our human responsibility to take care of the Earth," says Katie Noland, president of MSU's Network of Environmentally Conscious Organizations. "And one of the ways we can do that is by recycling."
Tuesday, NECO put on the annual "What's In Your Trash?" event. Noland tells us one of its goals is to connect the students of MSU with what they throw away.
"Hoping that they'll benefit in the long run with a better sustainability and recycling program," added Noland.
Students pulled every trash bag they could from the campus' dozens of garbage cans with the goal of sorting the recyclable paper, plastic, and aluminum from the true trash.
Noland said, "We've got quite a crew over here helping out. People have just been coming in and out all day."
This is the second year MSU student Ross Wolfe has participated in "What's In Your Trash?" He says a major impact of the program is building awareness.
Wolfe explained, "People around campus need to recycle more and actually be educated on what they can recycle and what they can't recycle."
The group showed off one bag of disposable cups weighing 11 pounds.
"What's In Your Trash?" is now in it's third year. The first year, 55 percent of the garbage they dug through was recyclable.
Last year that number dropped to 45 percent.
It's a trend Noland hopes continues this year, saying, "We're just going to go big and hope for 35 this year."
We checked in at the end of the day and NECO exceeded their goal. Just 33 percent of the day's trash was recyclable.