The Lee Creation Care Club (CCC) is a student-led environmental club that recently introduced new recycling options on campus for the 2018-2019 school year.
The university received its first recycling dumpster this semester and members of CCC are currently working to implement recycling systems within dormitories and academic buildings.
Former recycling officer of CCC Summer Hancock collaborated with Physical Plant workers, WestRock packaging company and Lee faculty to bring recycling to campus.
WestRock provided the dumpster for the university under the condition that students would recycle qualified items using bins provided by Lee.
Grant writer Elizabeth Sanders is working with CCC to create grants for purchasing the recycling bins. Their goal is to have the bins in freshman dorms by the 2019-2020 school year.
This is not the first attempt to bring recycling to campus. Former CCC president Torah Harding-Laman said a group called the Lee Environmental Action Force (LEAF) tried to implement recycling years ago, without success.
“I’ve seen a lot more teamwork and collaborative effort from both students and faculty and staff, as well as outside businesses,” said Harding-Laman. “Teamwork is essential to make a project like this possible.”
Third-party companies also tried to implement recycling on campus seven years ago, but problems arose when the service failed to generate enough profit.
Harding-Laman and Hancock believe that CCC’s efforts are different from past attempts because it comes from student action within the university.
Hancock released a survey gathering students’ attitudes and willingness to recycle on campus, currently with 250 participants, all in favor of recycling if it is made convenient.
“It could be a really successful program,” Hancock said. “They just don’t really have the convenience and opportunity and time being a college student and the limitations that come with that place in life. A huge thing is convenience going forward.”
Recycling bins positioned next to trash cans could provide an easy way for students to recycle. The dumpster has also proved to be a convenient option.
Freshman CCC member Claire Carlson implemented recycling within her residence hall last semester. Before Carlson, residents simply discarded these items in the trash. Now, every week she takes three totes full of recyclables to the dumpster.
“If we’re willing to take our recycling and personally do it for our halls and for the dorms,” said Carlson, “then that would show administration that it will be more sustainable this time and that we’re willing to go the extra mile to make it work.”
Acceptable items for the dumpster include plastic bottles, cardboard and paper products. A few major items not allowed are Styrofoam, glass and plastic bags.
The dumpster is single stream, which means recyclables do not need to be separated by category.
CCC intends to create a list of specific recyclable and non-recyclable items for the dumpster on campus, which will be featured on Lee’s website.
For those interested in recycling on campus, the dumpster is located beside the Campus Security office at 1000 Barnes St NE.
For more information about recycling on campus, contact CCC president Savannah Brasher at email@example.com.