Campus News

Maine Recycles Week at Bowdoin November 5-9

Story posted October 30, 2001

This article is courtesy of the Sustainable Bowdoin Office.

Many of you have probably heard, "If you're not recycling, you're throwing it all away." What does that expression mean? With Maine Recycles Week happening in early November it is a good time to explore this topic, says Keisha Payson, Coordinator for a Sustainable Bowdoin.

How much do you think Bowdoin "threw away" in the 1999-2000 academic school year? (Since there is no "away," we should really ask, how much did we send to the Brunswick Landfill, which is where Bowdoin's garbage ends up.) Payson asked this question to a group of about 15 students recently and received a variety of answers. "Two tons" one started with. Then another shouted out "100 tons.” And with continued prodding "500 tons" was suggested.

The students were shocked when Payson told them Bowdoin sent 722 tons of garbage to the local landfill in one year, while recycling roughly 15% of our waste. In the 2000-2001 academic year Bowdoin spent over $75,000 in solid waste disposal fees.

According to Payson, we all can make a difference. “Here at Bowdoin we are trying to take positive steps in extending the life of the landfill while saving the College money. Reducing and reusing the ‘stuff’ we generate must be our main objective, but in light of Maine Recycles Week I would like to focus on recycling.”

The Bowdoin Community is lucky in that we are given the opportunity to recycle; many businesses don't provide this service for their employees. Bowdoin started a recycling program in 1991 and we continue to add to the variety of items that we recycle.

Starting this year, in addition to paper, cardboard, newspaper, magazines, catalogs and returnable bottles and cans, Bowdoin can now recycle floppy disks, overhead transparencies and Styrofoam peanuts through the Sustainable Bowdoin office (call x3086 for more information on the collection of these three items).

To celebrate Maine Recycles Week the Sustainable Bowdoin office will host a table in the David Saul Smith Union November 5 through 9 with activities and information about what is recyclable at Bowdoin.

On Tuesday the 6th they will conduct a Trash Audit in front of the Smith Union by the Polar Bear. They will sort and weigh the trash of several buildings on campus to get a better understanding of the make up of Bowdoin’s waste stream. Stop by to check out their progress between noon and 4 p.m.!

“We currently recycle about 15% of our waste at the College. We would like to reach a goal of recycling 30%, but it will take all of us ‘pitching in’ our recyclables to the proper containers,” Payson says. If you have any questions about what is recyclable or where it is collected please call Keisha Payson at x3086.

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