Sustain Beloit strives to transform campus waste culture

Starting Monday, Aug. 22, Sustain Beloit, an improved trash and recycling program, will reduce the number of plastic bags dotting our lawns and help each of us own — and dispose of — the waste we create.

Did you know that Beloit College produces three tons of waste each week? Or that the current system sends all our recyclables to the landfill?

That’s unsustainable.

Starting Monday, Aug. 22, Sustain Beloit, an improved trash and recycling program, will reduce the number of plastic bags dotting our lawns and help each of us own — and dispose of — the waste we create.

Syd Clark?22 Syd Clark’22Student Syd Clark’22 spearheaded the project last fall after seeing that the current system was putting recyclables in the landfill.

“The current disposal system endangers housekeepers’ health, takes hours out of their work day, and generates minimal recycling due to contamination,” Clark says. “A new approach to recycling is warranted.”

The everyday work of trash collection was also harming housekeepers’ bodies, Clark says. Housekeepers take 2-4 hours each day to collect trash and move it to a pick-up location. From there, a grounds or utility person moves the trash to dumpsters, which takes 4-6 hours daily. Under the new project, the housekeeping staff’s time will be reinvested in other, higher-priority tasks.

While the current waste system goes against Beloit College values, Sustain Beloit will change that, Clark says: “It’s time for Beloiters to own their trash.”

Here’s how we can manage campus waste, and improve Beloit’s environmental footprint in the process.

  • Beloiters will take out their own trash and recyclables and deposit them in Waste Management bins outside their buildings, offices, dorm rooms, etc. Your trash, your task.
  • Campus, working in close coordination with Waste Management and the City of Beloit, will provide detailed information on what can be thrown away and what to recycle. For example, did you know that if you’re uncertain about whether an item is recyclable you’re better throwing it in the trash to avoid contaminating the recyclables?
  • Right now, the college gets fined approximately $800/month for contaminated recycling. The college will save approximately $100,000 a year annually if we can avoid these fines by pitching in on this new program.
  • Facilities staff time can be redirected to other high-priority needs.

So Beloiters, join us in talking trash! Get involved, and pledge to do your part to make Sustain Beloit a success!

August 08, 2022

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