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New Recycling Program coming to UB next month

By Chris Hogan
On February 26, 2012

When last fall semester started, the Student Government Association (SGA) outlined some of their top priorities for the entire year and one of them was to improve the recycling process around the campus since it was lacking. Now as March approaches, SGA and UB administration plans to launch its "Campus Wide Recycling Program" to raise awareness on the matter.


In order to make this a possibility, SGA has collaborated with Dean of Students Ken Holmes and Vice President of Facilities George Estrada on how UB could become a greener campus. SGA President Capaci said that starting this program was an important issue for the student body.


"The fact that the campus didn't recycle is something that is so fundamentally wrong that it needed immediate attention," he said. "Recycling is no longer some progressive thing to do; it's a standard and a basic thing that intelligent companies, people and anyone who is educated do."


Estrada has been working with All American Waste Company that will provide UB with basic information and resources on how the recycling program will become a successful one. Each building starting with Wahlstrom library from the garden level to the seventh floor will now have different waste receptacles and large waste bins to differentiate between recyclable items and regular garbage.


Following that, dorms including Barnum, Seeley, Chaffee and Cooper will all institute a single stream recycling system and have recycling containers in all student lounges. There will be a communication system with Residential Life Director Robert Vass, Resident Directors and Advisers and students on the how the program is going. Shortly after that Marina Dining Hall will implement a similar system.


"The benefit of this is obviously the environmental benefit is primary," Estrada said. "We recognize that we should be environmentally sensitive and bring the university towards greening the campus."


The project will save the university about $20,000 a year by not taking the recyclables to the plant where the city of Bridgeport would normally burn the garage and create electricity. Those savings will be made that could help UB in becoming even greener down the road. Between 80 and 85 percent of the waste that will be thrown out will be recyclable and put into a single compactor by Marina.


Juan Fuentes, Director of Facilities Management said that all of his custodians, housekeeping staff and maintenance workers will have an easy transition when operating with this new system.

"The training is minimal," Fuentes said. "Instead of throwing the newspaper, soda can or old paperwork in the trash we now are going to place these items in a recycling container.  Each recycling container will be marked on numerous spots to distinguish it from a trash container.  In addition, there will be postings of what items are recyclable."


Items that will be recyclable consist of newspapers/magazines, pizza boxes, aluminum food and beverage containers and direct mail items among others. Non acceptable pieces include plastic bags, coat hangers, paper towels/tissues and non paper envelopes.


 By late spring/early summer every building around campus will be participating in the new program and by June there will be an evaluation on the overall progress on how the entire project is going.


"The most important benefit of this new program is instead of filling landfills with items that can be recycled; we will be making these items into something we can use again," Fuentes said.  "It is our responsibility to cherish our environment and protect it from unnecessary waste so that we, as well as our future generations, can enjoy it."

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