Green Campus Proposal

2004 Green Campus Proposal

The Quality of Life Committee, of which the Green Campus Subcommittee is a part, has taken on the task of investigating a university recycling program. The concern of this committee, as has been voiced by others on campus, is that the university as a whole needs to make a greater effort in recycling items on campus. Currently, there are many universities around the country that have recycling programs. The College and University Recycling Council (CURC; http://www.nrc-recycle.org/councils/CURC/) was formed in 1992 and became a technical council of the National Recycling Coalition in 1995. The mission of the CURC is “to organize and support environmental program leaders and institutions of higher education in managing resource recycling and waste issues.”

At Florida Tech, a green campus survey was administered to determine the level and need for awareness of recycling on campus. A sample size of 251 people, which included 5% of all students on Melbourne Campus and 7% of all Florida Tech’s employees (i.e., faculty and staff) was given a survey, which asked the level of importance of recycling to them and if they would participate in recycling program.The survey also asked which items they think should be recycled. In the sample size, over 97% agreed that Florida Tech should have a recycling program. Additionally, 95% said that they would participate in recycling program if one was established on campus. A list of items was presented for respondents to choose which items should be recycled. The three items they indicated the most were paper at 97%, aluminum cans at 90% and plastic at 84%. Some unsolicited qualitative information from staff and faculty was also provided during the survey process. Some of the comments included:

  • “I hope y’all adopt a recycling program here. I feel terribly guilty every time I throw away paper from the printer that I know could be recycled.”
  • “I’m all for recycling, and it’s always baffled me why a school with programs in science, technology, biology, environmental science and ecology doesn’t recycle!”
  • “If this means, would you recycle? “The answer is yes,” I would continue to do so. Further, I would provide stronger encouragement to others in our office.”

It seems evident that the climate on campus for recycling is ripe. However, in order for the campus community to buy into this program, the University should step up efforts to facilitate recycling opportunities. The following are some recommendations from the subcommittee to implement a more comprehensive recycling program on campus.

Green Campus Subcommittee Recommendations:

This committee recommends to Florida Tech that:

  • It join the College and University Recycling Council (CURC)
  • Build awareness and emphasize the value of recycling on campus via newspaper articles, fliers, forum messages, etc.
  • Identify locations of recycling receptacles on campus.
  • Identify possible grant funding agencies.
  • Provide funding for the following:
    • transportation to pick up recyclables
    • recycling containers
    • central storage area
    • compensation for manpower to the appropriate department for supervision of this program

By joining this CURC, Florida Tech will have access to technical assistance, education and training as well as networking opportunities and support for a recycling program. This will help us to build awareness on campus for recycling and the good it will do for the university and the community. By identifying locations for recycling receptacles on campus, the awareness on campus for recycling will be heightened even more. There are also opportunities to generate revenue from recycling. Based on some of the information obtained about revenue from turning in recyclables and the amount of recycling already done on campus, this program could pay for itself in short period of time. Currently with the help of Alpha Phi Omega this campus is already recycling paper nine months out of the year and there is a program also underway to recycle aluminum cans to benefit Habitat for Humanity. Consequently, the precedent has been set on campus for recycling and to elevate this to the next level should be a natural progression of the program.