“Green team” launches RCC recycling program

BY AMANDA ADAMS

STAFF WRITER

Rogue Community College launched a new recycling program Monday, January 11, 2010 on the Redwood Campus in Grants Pass.

Students stopped in at the information booth Monday, January 11.  Environmental Sustainability Club member, Jenni Porter, and president, Melanie Jessee, handed out stickers and pamphlets to students.  RCC Recycling Coordinator and AmeriCorps worker Britta Beckstead hopes will help increase membership for the club.   

Beckstead reported that there seemed to be a lot of student support of the program, resulting in over 100 raffle entries.  Entrants answered questions about recycling.   

Two RCC students tied for first place, winning a coffee mug, a Gooseberries bag, a Dutch Bros. T-shirt and blanket, a solar flashlight, and a $10 gift certificate to The Vine Restaurant in Grants Pass each. 

Sponsors included: Dutch Bros, Human Bean, Gooseberries Real Food Market, Ashland Food Co-op, and The Vine Restaurant.

The information booth was to raise awareness about a new recycling program inspired by the success of last year’s RecycleMania.  RCC’s Green Team wrote a grant proposing a “recycling laboratory.”  This would be used as an educational tool for the college and the Josephine County community, Britta Beckstead said.

Melanie Jessee and Jenni Porter are student workers paid by grant money received from the Green Team’s grant to drive an electric golf cart, picking up bins and performing general monitoring of on-campus recycling.

RCC Recycles is sponsored by the Solid Waste Agency, which includes government representatives from Josephine County, the City of Grants Pass, and the City of Cave Junction.  Beckstead said they have also received equipment donations (the blue bins and recycling dumpster) from local Grants Pass waste haulers, Southern Oregon Sanitation.

The goals of the RCC Recycles program are to reduce waste at RCC; educate our community about recycling; instill a sustainable effort that will continue to expand in the future; and inspire other green movements on campus.

“I am hoping that we will eventually be diverting at least 20 percent of our total campus waste generation,” said Beckstead.

Don Galli, RCC student and Animal House employee, admits that he probably does not recycle as much as he should.

“It’s not convenient,” Galli said.  “Nobody knows what to recycle.  I go out to the red recycling dumpster in the alley [between G and H buildings on the Riverside campus] and see that people toss garbage in there, or cardboard with food on it.”

Galli said that he would be willing to attend a class on recycling if it were offered.

RCC Bright Futures instructor, Shelly Diller, said that she sees a lot of recycling bins on campus already but expressed concern that “people may not be aware of recycling opportunities on campus.”

To educate RCC students about how they can improve their recycling efforts, a Master Recycler course will be taking place from March 1 to April 26, 2010 through Community Education.  Beckstead encourages students to apply for this course.

Beckstead hopes to have an event for Earth Day in April and many other events throughout the remainder of the year.  If students would like to be involved, they can contact her for more information as event dates approach. 

Beckstead, who was hired in September 2009, will perform the duties of recycling coordinator at RCC through the end of July.  She states that RCC hopes to hire a replacement part-time worker to fill her place and teach the upcoming Master Recyclers course.

Check out the recycling program’s website http://learn.roguecc.edu/recycle/ as well as the Green Team’s new website http://learn.roguecc.edu/green/ for updates and more information.

Britta Beckstead, Recycling Coordinator: (541) 956-7185 or bbeckstead@roguecc.edu/green/ for updates and more information.bbeckstead@roguecc.edu

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