KOKOMO, Ind. — Imagine a campus with no trash cans in its offices. Seem impossible?
Not to the Office of Sustainability at Indiana University Kokomo. By April 2019, the goal is to recycle 75 percent of campus waste, by encouraging faculty, staff, and students in all offices to replace trash cans with recycling bins.
The sustainability office and Physical Facilities are partnering to lead the education effort.
The ultimate goal is to have 100 percent participation in the recycle only office program by Earth Day 2019,” said Leda Casey, director of the Office of Sustainability. “The effort began last year with placing recycle bins next to the trash cans in hopes that it will get more students and faculty members to think of recycling.”
Interns personally visited many campus offices and distributed information, materials and magnets for proper recycling. This year, the offices that have opted into the program are removing their landfill disposal cans from their work space. Landfill trash containers are still available around campus.
The hope is that these efforts will imbed recycling into campus culture, thus the program will sustain itself,” Casey said.
Marisha Rigle, a senior intern for the Office of Sustainability, first became interested in dealing with sustainability through a social problems course taken at IU Kokomo. Her role is to serve as the main contact and facilitate education on proper recycling and removing the trash cans.
I am constantly learning new things in regard to sustainability and how each of us can make a difference. I was so pleased with the immediate response from the faculty and staff for their willingness to participate in the recycle only offices. My goal is to increase recycling efforts on campus by all,” Rigle said.
Rigle and Casey believe if they are educating those who work at IU Kokomo, then they can take that knowledge home and start to properly recycle at home. They both agree that recycling not only helps the planet but saves energy as well.
Tara Scott, events coordinator, partnered with Casey to promote easy ways to make events more sustainable to go along with the new recycle only offices project.
For Scott and Casey, making events more sustainable isn’t just about the food offered at events, it’s also about the giveaways, centerpieces and materials that are given out at those events.
Our goal is to educate the campus community to think more consciously about what they’re doing overall with regards to events and still stay within their budget,” Scott said.
Story written by Makenzi Ruff. Makenzi is an intern in the Office of Media and Marketing.
Indiana University Kokomo serves north central Indiana.