Georgia College's 'green' initiative goes blue
A Georgia College “green” initiative goes blue this year, encouraging a stronger commitment to recycling.
Student volunteers of the Georgia College Recycling Program started the Blue Bin Program to simplify recycling on campus.
“Student organizations, faculty and staff have adopted 40 of our new blue bins,” said Dr. Doug Oetter, associate professor of geography and chair of the Georgia College Sustainability Council. “Now, our campus community offers a one-stop shop for recycling magazines, newspapers, shredded paper, cardboard, aluminum cans and plastics No. 1 and 2.”
The bins are marked with the triangular recycling emblem and have four slots: two oblong for newspaper and mixed paper; a triangle for cans; and a circle for plastics.
Student volunteers have placed the blue bins in most of the buildings on main campus and several bins in residence halls on West Campus.
“Recycling is such an easy process to incorporate into your lifestyle,” said Ellen Gaither, a sophomore and student volunteer. “We have the recycling bins right next to trash cans.”
From campus to blue bins
Gaither is one of more than 60 student volunteers who helps maintain the flow of recycled goods.
Each week volunteers check the bins for trash and bag the recyclable goods.
“We take care of the recycling,” the liberal studies major said. “All our campus community has to do is place their products in the right bin, which also helps teach the difference between what’s trash and what’s recyclable.”
The blue bins provide labels to ensure recycled goods are placed in the right slots.
“It is just that simple,” said art major Daniel Chamberlin. “Recycling makes you aware and responsible for your waste. We don’t just throw something in the trash and never see it again. Someone else has to deal with it.”
From blue bins to collection sites
Georgia College volunteers tote the bagged recyclable materials to one of two collection sites: the Centennial Center parking lot and West Campus, Building 400.
“Anybody from the Georgia College community can bring recyclables to these facilities, too,” said Oetter. “We just ask that the materials are neat and bags are tied.”
Volunteers work with Georgia College recycling coordinator Earl Anderson, who documents the types of items recycled and monitors the materials entering the collection sites.
Last year Georgia College recycled more than 6 tons of materials — approximately 1,000 pounds per month. Volunteers plan to double efforts this year.
“It’s a team work effort,” said Anderson. “Our students do a good job helping me keep things organized.”
From collection sites to recycling center
Local waste and recycling collector Advanced Disposal hauls the university’s recycled products at no cost. General manager Jon Hipp has worked with the Georgia College Recycling Program for a year.
“Georgia College understands the importance of keeping items away from the waste stream and putting them into reusable resources that help protect our environment,” said Hipp.
A roll-off truck takes the recycled materials back to its center where the items are dumped, sorted and bailed by partner company Attaway Recycling.
“From there, the bailed products are shipped to our processing facility to determine new uses for the materials,” Hipp said.
Georgia College’s partnership with Advanced Disposal and Attaway Recycling creates a culture of environmental awareness, said Oetter.
“Recycling is convenient, smart and economically the right thing to do,” Oetter said. “When we conserve our resources, it shows we’re not throwing away our future.”