Commuters miss out on Green Team recycling options

At 12:50 p.m. two volunteers dragged garbage bags full of recyclables to the dumpster. Tin cans clanged on the sidewalk. It was a recycling day for the Castleton State College Green Campus Initiative Green Team and the first recycling drop-off for off-campus students behind Castleton Hall. The new program provides off-campus students a chance to bring plastics, glass, paper, cans and cardboard to be recycled.

But this Thursday no one came.

By 1:10 p.m. the volunteers had finished dumping old newspapers, glass, tin and plastic containers into the recycling unit, but all of it came from on-campus sites.

No commuters came, which reaffirmed the Green Team’s worries that students are unaware of the work being done.

Commuter Erin Dunbar said she thought the program was a great idea, but she did not attend. She does plan to recycle in the future, but said she thinks in order for the program to become popular it “needs to be more advertised.”

The Green Team feels the same way.

“No one knows what we do, its just eight of us mingling around,” said student volunteer Kelley Lawler. She, along with several other volunteers and work-study students, make up the Green Team that is responsible for the recycling program.

Professor Paul Derby, who is involved in Campus’s Green Initiative, agrees advertising is needed. The day and time have been established and the next step is to make people aware that this program is available, Derby said.

“It’s just starting, it will take a few weeks to make people aware,” he said.

The volunteers believe in the effort and want to make a difference even though the work isn’t always pleasant.

“It’s kinda gross sometimes!” said volunteer Ashley Chase.

The recycling program that started in 2004 has developed into various stages, said Stacia Bucknell, the student recycling coordinator. The green initiative has led to changes to many areas of campus.

The group has endorsed the purchase of hybrid vehicles, sponsored a light bulb exchange, led to the installation of more efficient lights in Huden Dinning Hall and fostered many other environmentally friendly activities on campus, according to the Green Campus Web site.

Bucknell is optimistic the new commuter program will take off when the word gets out. Bucknell, who lives off campus, brings her recycling to campus and is hopeful she can get others to follow.

Students renting off campus apartments may have to pay for trash removal and this would sufficiently reduce that cost, she said. She is also aware that students are busy and is willing to work with student’s schedules.

She said she is also flexible about the program and its current design.

“If it doesn’t work, we’ll try to entice people with something else” said Bucknell.

Anything with the recycling symbol on it can and should be recycled, she said. To participate, students simply place the recyclables in the proper bin, said Bucknell. Despite the lack of participation on the first week, the program is scheduled to continue on Thursdays from 1-2 p.m. behind Castleton Hall.

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