Posted On March 6, 2017
Fully facilitated recycling centers are coming to a building near you. That is, if a certain group of students has anything to do with it.
Mary Simpson is a senior biology major from Greer, S.C. She is also vice president of Winthrops Environmental Council. Simpson, along with Jennifer McAdams of Rock Hill Clean & Green, organized an informational meeting on Jan. 28, 2003, to give resident assistants ideas on how to get their residents interested in recycling.
“Our main goal this year is to educate about recycling, not to go statewide or be tree-huggers,” Simpson said. “Weve got enough problems here on campus.”
Since the councils beginning, eight-10 faithful members have had one goal: to get students and faculty at Winthrop recycling, Simpson said.
At the Jan. 28 meeting, Simpson and McAdams spoke on such topics as energy and water conservation and recycling. According to Simpson, aluminum cans, plastic bottles, office paper, cardboard, newspaper, phone books and magazines can currently be recycled on campus. Tillman Hall, Margaret Nance and Phelps are among the buildings with functioning recycling centers this semester.
The Environmental Council officers also met with Brien Lewis, Executive Assistant to the President, on Nov. 22, 2002, to present the results of their research on the current recycling program.
The council surveyed students and scoured campus in preparation for this meeting. They contacted other universities, including Furman, about the details of their recycling programs. ?
Jennifer Walker, the councils treasurer, said that preliminary research efforts suggested that students would be very interested in recycling if given a good opportunity.
However, while students seemed to be filling up the recycling bins, the fact that no one was emptying them led students to resort back to trashcans.
“With glass and bottles, it was kind of disappointing,” said Walker, a junior accounting and economics major from Iva, S.C.
After the student presentation and their discussion with Lewis, Kathryn Holten, acting vice president of University Advancement, took on the responsibility of analyzing the universitys recycling program.
“It is now time for the university to review our recycling program and make sure that it is supported like all our other programs to reflect the best practices,” said Holten via e-mail.
The council is pleased with the results of the meeting.
“We kind of claimed it as a victory, because thats what we wanted, was to get more attention,” Walker said.
Winthrops Environmental Council plans to continue to educate students on recycling. They will also meet with certain faculty members to write out a grant proposal in order to obtain the funds for new recycling equipment, Simpson said. More information on the council is available at www.birdnest.org/environmentalcouncil.
In March 2003, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency identified storm water pollution as a significant problem and required all areas identified in the 2000 U.S. census as ???urbanized areas??? to develop a program to manage storm water runoff. Since UNH falls into a region that is considered an urbanized area the campus had to apply for a National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permit and develop and implement a written Storm Water Management Program. This document is available online at http://www.unh.edu/ehs/stormwater/.
The University is also required to submit a report each year documenting actions taken to comply with the U.S. EPA??™s regulations.
During the past year, student employees in the Office of Environmental Health and Safety have applied new, ???No Dumping ??“ Drains to Bay??? placards on campus catch basins. When this wasn??™t an option because of recurrent theft of the placards, they made stencils out of old cardboard boxes and spray painted the marking on the asphalt. ???The students were very ingenious,??? says Gillum. ???They found a cost-effective solution to a significant problem.???