Green Team continues to grow, sets records for recycling program

The Bradley “Green Team” continues to set records for the recycling program, exceeding their previously set record each quarter since the middle of the 2011 year.

Currently, the Green Team has collected more than 175 tons of recyclable material in its five years. About 80 tons, or more than the weight of 26 cars, of aluminum, plastic, glass, cardboard and paper was collected during the last year alone.

“[There’s] a lot more [amount of recycling] than I would’ve thought,” said senior mechanical engineering major Dillon Sloneker. “I guess I didn’t realize how much people use those resources.”

In addition, the recycling program also collects considerable quantities of batteries, lamps/lights and ballasts and capacitors.

The largest quantity of single stream recycling per quarter was collected by the team during the third quarter of the 2012 year when 29 tons amassed from around campus.

Vice President for Business Affairs Gary Anna oversees the Green Team committee through his office.

Director of Custodial Services Patricia Dempsey works directly with Anna’s committee to distribute the recycling containers, emptying the containers and reporting on the recycled materials. She said that the large rise in collected materials was due to the expansion of the program from residence halls to many other buildings around campus.

Although the program is coordinated through Bradley’s staff, the Green Team’s efforts have greatly benefited from student involvement, Anna said.

A student committee has been in place since 2009, and for the past three years sophomore social work major Kathleen O’Brien has been involved.

“It has been really exciting to see the strides Bradley has been making in becoming
a more environmentally friendly campus,” said O’Brien. “We have come a long way but
have tons of room to grow.”

Anna also said the recycling program is far from complete.

“We have continuing plans to further [the green movement] on campus but want to be sure we can sustain the current efforts while planning for enhancements,” said Anna.

Anna is referring to the other programs by the Bradley Green Team, which include the OZZI eco-containers in the cafeterias, water filters in dorms, composting and the team’s initiative to make campus more energy efficient.

O’Brien said that the campaign for energy efficiency awareness is the committee’s 2012-2013 goal.

“This year we are really focusing on getting the word out and educating people on how to be ‘greener,’” said O’Brien. “For example, clarifying what you can and can’t recycle or reminding people to turn the light off when you leave the room.”

O’Brien also said that the committee plans to host efficiency events for students in the upcoming semester. She said she believes that this will help students take a more active role in the green movement.

“We are planning on having an energy awareness week next semester,” she said. “As a committee, we are hoping these little changes will bring about results that will further our efforts and break more records.”

Dempsey also said she encourages more student involvement.

“We are always eager to have interested students come in as we look for more ways to expedite procedures,” said Dempsey.

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