Grant to cement sustainability efforts

Looking to make campus as “green” as it can be, Heidelberg’s Sustainability Task Force was thrilled when it received a grant to help fund its upcoming recycling initiative.
“We’re currently in the United Nations decade of sustainable development,” Dr. Amy Berger, associate professor of geology, told students, faculty and staff on Thursday at her presentation titled, “Moving Toward Sustainability: Recycling and Other Initiatives”.
Dr. Berger, along with Amy Sutherland of the Institutional Advancement Office, the campus Sustainability Task Force, the Student Senate Sustainability Task Force and the Environmental Science Lab students have been working to make significant changes on Heidelberg’s campus.
The team applied for funding through a competitive grants program – the Ottawa, Sandusky and Seneca County Joint Solid Waste Management District Grant Program – and Dr. Berger said she was pleased to announce that an award of nearly $6,000 was given to the project.
She said that the team plans to use its money to buy recycling receptacles, which will be set up in locations across campus. With receptacles available, Dr. Berger said, more items can be recycled. Office paper and newspaper will go into bags (made of recycled material); aluminum, plastic and glass will be moved to bins (made of 70 percent recycled material), and cardboard will go into large dumpsters.
The receptacles will be on every floor of every residence hall and at least one floor of every academic building, Dr. Berger said. And for students who may be interested in getting involved, an employment opportunity through Krammes Service Center will soon be available.
She explained that Krammes will hire two student workers to be on the front line of pick-up coordination. Numerous campus organizations, such as CLC houses, Greek organizations and Alpha Phi Omega (the national service fraternity), who may be interested in getting community service hours or just want to help. The student employees would be responsible for overseeing organizational involvement. Those who are interested should contact Krammes.
Explaining that the goal is to move toward total sustainability, Dr. Berger talked about the team’s collaborative effort to create this comprehensive recycling movement. By doing research and collecting data on campus through studying waste in Hoernemann Refectory and interviewing Heidelberg staff and students, students taking the environmental science course and lab were able to understand what needs to be done to begin such a initiative.
Freshman Candace Brothers and sophomore Hayden Angelotta spoke on behalf of the class. “Our goal was to investigate what the campus is doing to recycle. … We also talked to Rod Morrison (associate vice president for facilities and engineering) to talk about issues in the residence halls and classroom buildings,” Candace said. Hayden added, “We looked at everything from how much food Hoernemann wastes, to how much water it takes to wash the dishes, to the erosion of Rock Creek.”
The recycling program kickoff will happen in the fall semester of the 2009-2010 school year. Throughout the year, it will be monitored by the environmental science class. Dr. Ken Baker explained that the class will be watching the successes and failures of the program, and analyzing what they observe.
“I’m really excited about the potential of the lab to go from ‘what do we have going on’ to ‘what can we do’,” Dr. Baker said.
The “doing” will start right away. Next year, the university will officially go tray-less in Hoernemann. Further, the meetings of the Sustainability Task Force are open to all of the campus community – anyone who is interested is welcome to join the group on the third Tuesday of each month at 8 a.m. in Campus Center. For more information, those interested can e-mail Deb Wilkinson at dwilkins.

Posted on: 
Apr 27, 2009