Awarded a Green Fund grant in Spring 2012, the Recycling Center in the School of Engineering and Applied Science is demonstrating high usage after only two months of operation. The conversion of a trash room between the Moore and Levine buildings into an organized recycling center has encouraged many in the Engineering Quad to minimize waste and recycle in an eco-conscious way.
Leandra Kern and Kilian Feeney led the SEAS Green Team in getting the recycling center off the ground. The existing trash room was cleaned, re-painted, provided with new lighting, and organized with clearly labeled sorting areas and bins. A flexible floor plan allows bins and disposal areas to be altered as the Recycling Center gets more use and the team responds to demand. As an example, Ms. Kern says that the box for electronics was filled in the first week that the Recycling Center was open. "We saw people bringing in old electronics like Palm Pilots that they had just held on to because they didn't want to throw them in the trash," she said. "They were really pleased that now there is somewhere to dispose of things properly."
The opening of the SEAS Recycling Center is also a great chance to educate about recycling practices in general. "People have come to us with a lot of good questions, and we've been able to teach them about proper disposal of compact fluorescent light bulbs, for example," says Ms. Kern. The SEAS Green Team expects overall recycling rates to rise. SEAS' current recycling rate is approximately 29% and their goal is to raise it to 45% by 2015. A final report to the Green Fund is expected in January.