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‘Green Team’ Adding to College’s Recycling Efforts

Tiffany M. JamesA renewed recycling venture at Penn College enters its second year this fall and re-entry to the Recyclemania competition in the spring. This year’s efforts will gain leadership from a student group known as the “Green Team,” which exists as a subgroup of the Residence Hall Association and boasts representation from throughout on-campus housing.

Last year’s leadership was formed and led by resident student Tiffany M. James, a nursing student from Mount Carmel who now serves as a Resident Assistant. When she arrived on campus as a freshman, James would take recyclable items home with her and, thus, saw the need for a more formalized system. At about the same time that she and her roommate, Natalie Green, approached RHA about the need, a new recycling program was being formed by college administration, which was looking for ways to promote the program to the student body.

James emerged as the leader of that new effort and promoted recycling efforts in the residence halls throughout the spring semester, including Penn College’s first entry into the Recyclemania competition. Working with members of the Residence Life and General Service staff, James helped to foster a culture of recycling among the students living on campus. Overall, the recycling efforts on campus were a success. According to Donald Luke, facilities supervisor for General Services, there was a noticeable increase in the volume of recyclables being collected by the collegein the spring.

Jamesbelieves the student committee’s goal to promote recycling in the residence halls is two-fold. The first objective is the immediate impact on the environment that the recycled materials produce. The second is a more far-reaching and longer-lasting objective, and has to do with the recycling habits and understanding that students gain while living on campus. If students leaving Penn College continue to recycle for the rest of their lives, the college will have made a large, collective impact upon the environment.

In order for a recycling program to be successful in the residence halls, it needs leadership from and buy-in by resident students. While James is passing on the leadership of the team, she hopes to see the group expand to include more than just promoting recycling on campus but also to include such activities as roadside clean-up and other activities that help the environment.

Anyone who has suggestions or questions for this year’s Green Team can contact David Bateman, RHA president.

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