Troy University celebrates Earth Week with events, recycling drive

Posted: Friday, 19 April 2013

TROY - Troy University students, faculty and staff are going green for Earth Week 2013 and taking a bite out of the University’s waste stream through a major recycling drive.

While recycling is encouraged on a daily basis – University offices, for example, are provided recycling containers which are emptied by the University’s Physical Plant staff, and some 38 permanent recycling stations are located on the campus – officials say Earth Week provides an opportunity to reinforce the issue.

“We want to emphasize recycling and waste reduction, and Earth Week is a great time for us to focus on sustainability and environmental awareness,” said Jonathan Cellon, coordinator of Learning Initiatives in the Office of First-Year Studies, who is coordinating the week with the City of Troy, the University’s Physical Plant Department, other University offices and KW Plastics to complete the drive.

Throughout next week, students, faculty and staff on the Troy Campus are being asked to collect recyclable items such as waste paper, plastics, cardboard and metal.

The City of Troy, that has operated an aggressive recycling program for many years, is providing blue recycling bags to the university community. Volunteers will pick up the bags at 9 a.m. for on-campus residents and 10 a.m. for university employees on Friday, April 26, or the bags can be placed in one of seven blue recycle trailers on locations throughout the campus. Additional temporary recycling stations are being provided by KW Plastics to augment the effort.

Once collected, recyclables will be transported to Tailgate Terrace, where students, faculty and staff volunteers will conduct a waste stream sort from 12 p.m. until 4 p.m. Monday, April 29.

“Recycling is an economic engine for the city and our area, and we can make have an impact on that by expanding our efforts on campus,” Cellon said.

KW Plastics agrees. In addition to additional recycling containers, the company is providing advice and assistance to the University in its drive to become a more sustainable campus.

“The KW companies are proud to call Troy, Alabama home. Recycling saves money, saves landfill space and expense, saves energy and can generate revenue while supporting industry and creating new jobs,” said Stephanie Baker, KW’s director of market development.

“While our hearts are definitely cardinal, we simply want to help Troy University become a little more green,” she said.

While the recycling drive is a major part of the Earth Week observance, a number of activities are also being undertaken during the week – largely organized by the Department of Biological and Environmental Sciences’ Environmental Club.

A campus issues forum entitled “Sustaining Ourselves” kicked off Earth Week on Thursday.

A “Native Snakes of Alabama” demonstration will take place from 9:30 a.m. until noon on Monday, April 22 on the Quad and the Environmental Club will have an information booth Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday where tie-dye shirts, games, prizes and Earth Week giveaways will be hosted.

Dr. Steven Kolmes, who holds the Molter Chair in Science and is director of the University of Portland’s Environmental Studies Program, will conduct two seminars.

“Setting Water Quality Standards in the USA” will be from 12 p.m. until 1 p.m. on Monday in Math and Science Complex Room 212. This seminar will explore U.S. EPA surface water contaminant standards for human health and how states implement the standards, and specifically explore the state of Oregon’s decade-long process of setting water quality standards.

Dr. Kolmes’ second seminar, scheduled for 4 p.m. Tuesday, April 23 in Math and Science Complex Room 326, focuses on “The Sustainable Campus” and examines actions the University of Portland has taken to become more sustainable, reduce its carbon footprint and “in general become better citizens of the planet.”

Troy Mayor Jason Reeves, right, hands off one of the city’s blue recycling bags to TROY Chancellor Dr. Jack Hawkins Jr. on the Quad to kick off the University’s Earth Week 2013 initiative, and a campus-wide recycling campaign. (TROY photo/Kevin Glackmeyer)