SGA president Trenton White announced on Wednesday a new campus-wide recycling initiative that will be in full swing by fall 2011 and could come into effect as early as May.
Under the new plan, recycling bins for aluminum, paper and plastic products will be positioned across campus within easy reach of students, White said. The bins will be black in color and bear the Mercer logo as a way for them to fit in with the aesthetic feel of campus as a whole.
The plan will also include a public education component meant to increase student awareness about the importance of recycling in their everyday lives, White said.
White said he hopes the new recycling plan will help position Mercer as a leading regional institution in the area of environmental sustainability.
“We want this university to be on the forefront of recycling efforts. Compared to other schools, we haven’t always had the most comprehensive recycling strategies. But we’ve worked with what we had, and now we’re finally moving in the right direction,” White said.
White said that what sets the new initiative apart from other previously short-lived recycling programs on campus is that the new initiative includes broad-based support from the University administration, which will help make it more viable long-term by allowing existing university departments and infrastructure to help out in the process.
“Virtually everyone from the President, to the Dean, down to anyone in the administration is in support of this plan. Many students have been passionate about this issue and led strong efforts in the past, but now we finally have everyone on board,” White said.
Katie Martin is the president of the Students for Environmental Action, the organization that has been tasked by SGA this academic year with helping to draft the new initiative. Martin said she’s excited about the prospects of the new recycling plan as a way to make Mercer a more environmentally friendly campus.
“We’re creating a lot of trash on campus, so it will be better in the long run for it to go to other facilities to be recycled,” Martin said.
SEA advisor Dr. Heather Bowman Cutway, a professor from Mercer’s biology department, will oversee the initiative.
For more on this developing story, read the next issue of The Cluster, or check back in at www.mercercluster.com for updates.
Cluster online editor Carl V. Lewis contributed to this report.