February 15, 2002
Thanks to a new agreement with custodial contractor Jani-King of New Orleans, Tulane's uptown campus should see an invigorated recycling program. Beginning Feb. 4, the large blue toters that serve as collection points for recycled paper in uptown office buildings were moved outside.
Custodians will continue to empty office paper recycling bins, but they will now carry the paper to outside collection areas. "Facilities services has moved the toters outside because recycling has grown so much," said Liz Davey, environmental coordinator. "This will make it easy for the recycling staff, who spent a lot of time going into buildings to retrieve the materials."
Rather than making weekly rounds to empty the toters, recycling operators Christopher Brown and Galo Yepez will be able to empty toters every one to two days, said Davey. Hopefully, this will free up staff and equipment to service other Tulane campuses, said Davey. According to Mike Stringer, support services supervisor, the change will also have a beneficial aesthetic impact.
"People would use the toters as trash bins," he said. "We would find pizza boxes and cold drink cans in them. Employees also would sometimes use the bins as a way to unload office clutter," said Stringer. "No more. When departments want to clean their offices or purge their files they will have to call us (ext. 2469) and submit a job order for a trash pickup," he said. "The buildings should be much cleaner."
Stringer is anticipating other changes. "I am currently negotiating for a recycling center behind the UC," he says. The location, which is sandwiched between the University Center and Jones Hall, is currently home to three trailers. Stringer expects the university to soon sell two of the trailers and keep the remaining one for a recycling center office.
"It will be more efficient for us because every toter will be brought to the center and sorted," he said. "By separating white paper from mixed paper, sorting can containers from glass containers and crushing and banding cardboard, the university can turn its recycling program into a money-making venture," Stringer said. Tulane hasn't had a recycling center for several years, when its Ben Weiner Road location was closed to accommodate additional parking places.
Stringer said the center will be operated by two students who are currently on the facilities services payroll. He said he hopes to receive additional help from volunteers from the Green Club and other supporters from around campus.
"The center should not only improve the recycling of materials on campus," said Davey, "but it should make it easier for students to volunteer and participate in the program."
Tulane recycling program was begun in the early 1970s as a project of the Community Action Council of Tulane University (CACTUS). Last year, the program won a Sustainable Business Practices Award from New Orleans Mayor Marc Morial.
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