by Hadley Desmules ’16, SAAC Co-president & Waste & Recycling Working Group member
Recycling Bins in Locker Rooms
The Zilkha Center and the Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC) have been working together with Facilities to extend campus recycling into a number of athletic buildings. Although there is a campus-wide recycling program, it came to SAAC’s attention that very few, if any locker rooms had recycling bins. Varsity athletes are given reusable bottles at the beginning of each season, but teams still go through a significant amount of plastic water and Gatorade bottles and cups. To ease the additional recycling bins and locations into our campus recyclers’ usual collection routine, we are piloting fifteen new recycle bins in Lasell, Weston, and Cole Field House locker rooms. Unfortunately, on campus lots of trash ends up in recycling bins, which relegates the bag to the trash because our custodians can’t be digging through to separate trash from recycling. The bins we purchased for the pilot have a flap over the hole which should make people more cognizant of the fact that they are for recycling and hopefully eliminate the issue of trash getting into our recycling. We are hopeful that these new bins will be successful in collecting recyclables that would otherwise be thrown out. If the pilot is successful, we plan to put additional bins in the remaining locker rooms in the future to contribute to the college’s sustainability efforts.
In addition to extending campus recycling, a number of students are working to implement a Terracycle program on campus. Terracycle is a business that collects and recycles a variety of products that are not accepted by mainstream waste and recycling companies. Sponsors, often companies that produce the waste Terracycle collects, pay for the costs of shipping waste to Terracycle, so recycling is free for participants. Students from the Williams Environmental Council (WEC) and SAAC are beginning to collect foil-lined granola bar wrappers, which is one family of products Terracycle accepts. The wrappers of Clifbar products, Odwalla, and Nature Valley bars are three examples of the foil-lined wrappers we are collecting. A handful of boxes and informational posters will be placed around campus in the Sawyer Cafe, Eco Cafe, Lasell public locker rooms, and Goodrich for community members to drop off their wrappers. We hope that our efforts this spring will lay a foundation for additional Terracycle programs on campus in the future.