The North Dakota State Environmental Sustainability Committee (ESC) held the first panel of their three-panel series.
Recyclable items was the discussion for the first meeting, which took place Wednesday, Sept. 5. Panelists talked about ways in which we as a community can recycle effectively.
One of the ESC initiatives is to increase the amount of recycling bins on campus and pick up the recyclable items so the recycled waste can be transported to a sorting location in Shakopee, Minnesota. The committee has been trying to expand, but budgeting has been an issue, with ew containers and recycling costing $25,000 to $28,000 per year.
The ESC has been involved in multiple events to encourage students to get interested in environmental sustainability, including recycling at Bison football tailgating. A future event to look forward to is the “bag free month” in February that will be coordinated with the bookstore.
They will encourage students and staff to bring reusable bags. The ESC has also been working on reducing plastic bottles on campus by researching grant opportunities. Through this effort, the ESC hopes for the implementation of reusable drinking containers on campus.
According to the ESC president Mariah Eriksen, the ESC has done a waste audit in residence halls. They have also been involved in Earth Week and Water Day.
Jen Kacere, assistant director for leadership development in Residence Life, mainly focuses on the educational approach.
When it comes to items students get rid of, the panel advocated for donating instead of disposing them in the trash. To prevent this, there will be yellow trucks that go around and collect items that students don’t want to take home. When executed last year, the yellow truck project recovered 3,600 items.
The residence halls have also been able to recycle, track NDSU dining food waste and energy use. This year they were also able to collect 12,000 pounds of cardboard.
City of Fargo recycling coordinator Jen Pickett oversees all recycling in Fargo. The implementation of all-in-one recycling increased participation of single family recycling by 30 percent. The next step is to implement this program in multi-family dwellings.
There has been an effort to bring awareness and educate the students, faculty and staff. The second meeting is scheduled for December and will focus on technological sustainability and conserving energy.