Kent State reduces, reuses, recycles

Theresa Edwards

Students pitch in for recycling plan

Carrie Schweitzer wondered for five years why Kent State’s Stark campus in Canton did not have a recycling program readily available.

The associate professor of geology also had students from her classes ask her about the issue. She said she would tell them to write a petition or letter to the dean.

Matt Frericks, director of business and administrative services, also said there have been different student requests over the last several years.

“I was surprised when I first came here, six years ago, that the campus did not recycle because I came from other jobs, positions, or communities where you had to recycle,” he said. “I live in Summit, where it’s pretty recycle-friendly.”

Student organizations such as the geology club and a service-learning group came up with ideas for publicizing recycling.

Students got involved by creating posters, posting them around campus and educating students about recycling.

Posters feature messages like, “KSU Stark recycles, don’t trash your future.” There’s also a sign that hangs over trash cans with a stop sign that reads, “Stop. Don’t trash your future. Recycle.”

In addition to the geology club’s promotional signs, Schweitzer did her part by making a PowerPoint presentation for a faculty meeting to show faculty which materials are recyclable and which are not.

“I think it finally created enough awareness,” she said, adding that now the Stark campus has recycling bins everywhere.

The recycling bins are available in every office and every classroom on campus, for different types of recyclables. There are bins for aluminum, plastic and glass, she said.

Frericks coordinated the project so it would happen in time for school and acted as the connection to the recycling center for the Stark campus.

Kristi Wert, student activities coordinator for Stark, also was involved in the process.

“I was basically there for the support system,” she said. “(The project was) something I was interested in and wanted to help the students see through.”

Frericks said the Stark County Recycling Center did not always pick up recyclables. It was too much for the campus staff to be expected to collect and truck it to where it needed to be dropped off.

He also got the 470 recycling bins that were donated through grants received by the recycling center. The center now picks up recyclables, making Stark County more conservational.

After the first week of school, the campus recycling program has been successful thus far.

People have been pretty compliant and the recycling bins are filling up, said Frericks.

He said he really appreciates how the members of the custodial staff took to the recycling program and incorporated it into their regular jobs.

Schweitzer, however, is glad that the recycling program was implemented on campus.

“I feel strongly that we need to set a standard for the community,” she said. “We’re an educational institution. I know that as a geology professor, the students know that that’s what I do. They associate me with that. I need to help set that standard.”

Contact features correspondent Theresa Edwards at [email protected].