Don’t toss, recycle! Student-led initiatives pursue stewardship

WILMORE, KY—Asbury College students, faculty and staff may have noticed a few new recycling bins on campus this semester—90 to be exact. These new “paper only” bins are part of a Cornerstone Project initiative to pursue stewardship.

Juniors Jesse Powell of Elizabeth, Ind., and Jeffrey O’Field of Louisville, Ky., are heading up this new project. Powell and O’Field hope to get people on campus in the habit of recycling paper. The bins, created from recycled plastic, are located in every campus building. The paper program is accepting all paper products except corrugated cardboard. Once the recycling program is up and running, Powell and O’Field plan to expand the program to include plastic and aluminum.

Powell and O’Field say that the student response has been positive. They say that students are encouraged by how easy it is to recycle. Powell said, “People don’t realize how easy it is. After a while it becomes second nature.” She said she hopes students will also decrease their consumption of paper products once they see how much they are tossing.

Reducing consumption and waste was the reason for the College’s other new initiative to eliminate trays in the cafeteria. College cafeterias around the country have been going “trayless” in an effort reduce the amount of food wasted, and lower energy and water costs needed to wash trays.

O’Field said, “We want to encourage people to take less food.”

The trays enable college students to roam around the cafeteria filling their tray full. In the end, much food goes uneaten and is wasted. Powell also hopes that going trayless, will also teach students to be healthier and not eat as much.

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