Recycling Redevelopment: Sustainable Changes to Waste Collection at Beloit College


  • A recycling bin on the Beloit College campus.

Presentation author(s)

Syd Clark’22

Majors: International Relations; Environmental Justice and Citizenship
Minor: Critical Identity Studies

Abstract

Have you heard the rumor that Beloit College doesn’t recycle? Most of our recycling does not make it to the plant because food and trash contaminate the entire load. Students and staff are not familiar with the nuances of waste management or with how COVID-19 has further distanced the Facilities Department from the greater campus community. The current disposal system endangers housekeepers’ health, takes hours out of their work day, and generates minimal recycling due to contamination. A new approach to recycling is warranted.

In Fall 2022, Beloit College will introduce a new approach to recycling. A cornerstone of this approach is an education campaign to teach every member of our community about safe and effective recycling, so that they can take out their own trash and recycling to receptacles located throughout campus. This infrastructural change will decrease the risk of occupational injury for housekeepers, heighten student awareness around waste metabolism, and build potential for interpersonal relationships between Facilities and Beloit College as a whole.

Utilizing my long-term employment with the Facilities Department and position as a Sustainability Channel Assistant, I examine the weaknesses of our old approach, the strengths of the new one, and explain my own role in crafting the new strategy. The research conducted for this presentation is informed by my academic experience as an international relations and environmental studies double major, CRIS minor.

Sponsor

Sonya Maria Johnson, Pablo Toral, Bob Oehler

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