Denison University Opens New Recycling Center for College and Community Use
Posted: April 18, 2004
After two years of dedicated research and planning by a group of students, faculty, and staff, the Denison University-Granville Community Recycling Center will officially open at noon on Saturday, April 24. Located on State Route 661 across from Denison's Physical Plant, the building will serve as the centerpiece for a newly developed solid waste management plan and a shared resource for Denison University and Granville Township.
The project represents Denison's institutional commitment to environmental stewardship, as well as a revival of student environmental activism on campus. Student members of the Denison University Recycling Program (DURP) were highly involved in developing the grant proposal to the Coshocton-Fairfield-Licking-Perry Solid Waste District, which funded roughly 40 percent of the $113,000 project. DURP will also take the lead in promoting and maintaining the program as well as recruiting and managing the program's student employees.
"The new building is just part of the plan," said Seth Patton, Denison's vice president of finance and management. "The solid waste plan is comprehensive in that it includes educational, promotional and evaluative components. And, perhaps most importantly, it includes a well-defined operational plan."
That operational plan directs recyclables to the center in a variety of ways. Recycling bins will be provided in every residence hall room and office on campus, and special containers will be located near dumpsters throughout campus. Recyclables will be collected by a university employee and deposited at the center, where student employees will sort, bale and prepare the materials for collection by local recycling businesses.residents will be able to directly deposit their recyclables at the center.
The older portion of the recycling center has been processing materials collected from Denison's residence halls since the beginning of the Fall 2003 semester. Collection from the rest of the campus and thecommunity was delayed until the completion of the new 30-foot by 60-foot facility, which includes three balers that can prepare large quantities of materials.
According to Patton, Denison produces about 800 tons of solid waste per year and a significant portion of that can be recycled successfully. "We believe that a viable recycling program would be a source of education for students and citizens alike, setting a high local standard of expectation for responsible consumer behavior," Patton said in the proposal for the project.
The rest of the funds for the project will be supplied by Denison's capital investment section of the annual operating budget. Although the university will have to make an initial investment in recycling containers and staff time, designers of the project eventually expect it to be self-sustaining with adequate particpation from Denison students, faculty and staff and thecommunity.
"We realize that current markets for recycled materials make it difficult to even cover the cost of recycling let alone result in a profit. Nonetheless, it is our hope that through the cooperation of faculty, staff and students we can successfully implement the plan without added expense to the university," Patton said.
"The bottom line is that it strikes all of us as the right thing to do and we are excited about executing the plan," he added.
Denison University, founded in 1831, is an independent, residential liberal arts institution located in Granville, Ohio. A highly selective college enrolling 2,100 full-time undergraduate students from all 50 states and dozens of foreign countries, Denison is a place where innovative faculty and motivated students collaborate in rigorous scholarship, civic engagement and the cultivation of independent thinking.
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