August 29, 2014

Scrolling Headlines:

Suspect in custody after break-ins on Lincoln Avenue -

Thursday, August 28, 2014

UMass crime alerts reveal reports of lewd acts -

Friday, August 22, 2014

UMass women’s soccer hopes added depth brings more consistency in 2014 -

Friday, August 22, 2014

UMass mourns death of alumnus and journalist James Foley -

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Kassan Messiah, Trey Seals to shoulder pass rushing responsibility for UMass football -

Thursday, August 21, 2014

UMass names Blake Frohnapfel as the starting quarterback -

Monday, August 18, 2014

Decision looms for Mark Whipple as UMass football looks to name starting quarterback -

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Former UMass star Marcel Shipp overseeing a strong running back competition -

Saturday, August 9, 2014

Former UMass basketball star Chaz Williams signs professional contract in Turkey, still eyeing NBA career -

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Minutemen anxious to display aggressive defense -

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

UMass football turns the page, excited for 2014 season -

Monday, August 4, 2014

UMass student struck and killed by vehicle Thursday night -

Friday, August 1, 2014

UMass receives anonymous $10.3 million gift -

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

UMass football summer coverage 2014 -

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Chiarelli: Sam Koch’s impact evident in those who knew him best -

Monday, July 21, 2014

Longtime UMass men’s soccer coach Sam Koch dies after two-year battle with sinus cancer -

Monday, July 21, 2014

Southwest evacuated after gas leak -

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

UMass Rowing finishes NCAA Championships, ends year ranked No. 21 in the nation -

Sunday, June 1, 2014

Two UMass basketball alums to compete for a lofty prize in The Basketball Tournament -

Friday, May 23, 2014

Commencement Photos 2014 -

Thursday, May 15, 2014

UMass Eco-Rep Program promotes alternate recycling

On Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday evenings, the University of Massachusetts Eco-Rep Program stationed 63 of its members in dorm lobbies collecting alternate recyclables: items not suitable for the single-stream recycle bins, yet still reusable.

“Alternate recyclables are not as common as plastic or paper, so I don’t think a lot of people know about them,” said Eco-Rep Program Manager Chris Hewes. “I think generally people will walk by and say, ‘Oh, I didn’t know you can (recycle) this kind of stuff.’”

Such items include non-alkaline batteries, toner cartridges, compact florescent lightbulbs, CDs and DVDs, clothes, power cables, books and electronics.

In total, Hewes estimated that the Eco-Reps collected a total of eight CRT monitors and TVs, about 50 empty toner cartridges, a large pile of books, about 25 pounds of clothing, a large box of mixed electronics and “a ton” of CDs, DVDs and batteries.

The students involved with the collecting of these alternate recyclables were all members of Environmental Science 297F, a hands-on two-credit class that performs at least one environmentally friendly act per month. The students competed in pairs with the goal of collecting as many alternate recyclables as possible.

Taylor C. Snow/Collegian

There were a range of prizes for the winners, including gift certificates, compact florescent light bulbs and UMass apparel, but for Eco-Rep member sophomore Jeanette Schaible, the real joy in participating was making her own mark on the community.

“I really like making a difference and knowing how I’m impacting the environment,” Schaible, a nutrition and public health sciences double major, said.. “It’s nice to finally have a class that you can use in your actual life that’s not math or anything.”

However, Schaible was not having the best of luck. An hour and a half into her two-hour shift in Wheeler Hall, Schaible had only collected items from five people.

“A lot of people just pass by and they’ll say, ‘Oh I’ll just drop it off later,’ but usually don’t (come back),” she said.

For the most part, Schaible doesn’t believe a lot of students have the initiative to recycle consistently.

“I think the public doesn’t understand the importance of recycling in general because paper and bottles still aren’t recycled often, even though they’re so easy to recycle,” she said. “I guess more community awareness would be better but it’s hard when people don’t really care.”

In terms of spreading awareness to the community, the class— which meets four times per month— does one community-based activity per month. The other three classes meet in a classroom-like setting, where the students have discussions about readings and videos regarding environmental issues.

“I think the whole system could be more engaged with the community,” Schaible said. “We do one interactive piece per month, so I feel like the other three weeks we don’t really engage with the community that much. I think it would definitely help because we could show (community members) that it’s really not that hard to recycle.”

But it’s a bit more difficult to take care of the alternate recyclables, because unlike the single-stream recycling bins seen across campus — which take paper, plastic, aluminum and cardboard — there are no receptacles that are specifically for the alternates.

According to Hewes, aside from the bin outside the Student Union that collects toner cartridges, the only other place that will accept the alternates is the Office of Waste Management next to the UMass Police Department.

The OWM sends the materials to the Materials Recycling Facility in Springfield where the items are sorted and then shipped to contractors who can reuse the items. For example, non-alkaline batteries contain reusable metals, toner cartridges can be refurbished as well as refilled and CDs and DVDs can be melted down for materials that can be extracted and reused.

According to National Geographic, the chemicals in batteries can leak into soil, groundwater, lakes and streams and pose as a hazard for the environment. Hewes is keen on the idea of informing students that batteries and other uncommon recyclables can be put to better use, rather than thrown in landfills.

“We want to change the behavior and impact student awareness and behaviors on campus,” he said. “We want to tell them to not just throw this stuff in the trash. It can be recycled. You can take it to the Office of Waste Management or we can take it from you.”

If unwilling to take the trip to the OWM, Hewes suggests holding onto alternate recyclables until May, when the Eco-Rep Program holds its annual Sustainable Move-Out Campaign as students depart for summer vacation.

Taylor Snow can be reached at tsnow@dailycollegian.com.

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One Response to “UMass Eco-Rep Program promotes alternate recycling”
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