A Scripps Sustainability Committee initiative aims to begin baling paper recycling from a Scripps College residence hall.
Scripps bought a baler, a large machine that compresses paper recycling into compact blocks, in the fall, and has been baling cardboard from Malott Commons and the Motley Coffeehouse.
“As SAS Sustainability Chair this year a goal of mine was to continue to make Scripps a greener campus, and raise awareness of how the Scripps community can take a hand in sustainable practices,” Julia Howard SC ’14 said.
Howard collaborated with Head of Facilities Niel Errickson to get a pilot program running at the start of the semester. The pilot program has 50 residence hall rooms in Kimberly Hall recycling “tearable items” in separate bins. This requires that the residents of Kimberly Hall separate their trash and recycling into three bins rather than two.
Once full, Kimberly residents take their bins out to a dumpster, which is then brought to the cardboard and paper baler where its contents can be compressed into large bales.
“Paper is definitely a large amount of the waste generated in dorms,” Howard said. Because the blocks created by the baler are then sold, baling’s added bonus is that “Scripps will receive money for each bale to then put back into more sustainable practices on campus.”
The paper waste collected from Kimberly Hall over the past two months will be baled over spring break.
“Recycling is something that I have been brought up being taught to do, and I think is something everyone should be conscious of doing,” Howard said. “I am extremely excited to get this pilot program up and running and have Scripps students taking part in creating a more sustainable campus. I really appreciate how receptive the Kimberley residents were to the program.”
A forum held with the Kimberly Hall residents participating in the program generated positive feedback and encouraged Howard and Errickson to write a report that will be presented to the Sustainability Committee recommending the expansion of this program to all of the Scripps dorms next fall.
So far, because the recycled paper has yet to be baled, no additional work has been levied on the facilities staff. However, the expansion of this program, should it occur, will see the creation of either an expanded facilities staff position or new student work positions.
“Recycling is a valuable practice for people to adopt, and one that is easy to do, once it becomes second nature,” Howard said. “By implementing this program in all the dorms next fall, we want to start making a bigger point to incoming first-years that Scripps takes pride in being a green space.”