Recycling on campus has just completed their second full term. To help support the recycling program, the bookstore has been selling specific merchandise, e.g. t-shirts, hoodies, water bottles, and lanyards. Since September, they have sold $2,915 of merchandise and have profited $1,422.
“We are discussing right now, how we want to expand the merchandise selection, and maybe get a little more creative with the clothing designs as we build the brand and move towards 2nd generation merchandise,” said Lawrence LaJoie, LBCC Bookstore Manager. “The great thing right now is that the merchandise is simple yet unique, and universal to everyone.”
Throughout the entire Albany campus, there are four locations, the Courtyard Cafe, in front of Takena, in back of Takena, and at the bookstore courtyard, with orders for two more locations for Spring Term. In order to run each station, it costs $300 each term.
The recycling program has been very successful the last two terms and according to Lajoie, they will continue the program.
“We plan on continuing this program for the foreseeable future to cover all campuses with stations, estimating we need a total of approx 30 stations,” said Lajoie. “After that, we’ll focus on internal areas of campus as well, getting more concentrated on workspaces and classrooms.”
The response from students and staff has been very supportive, and along with the Bookstore’s efforts, they will be able to add more bins each year. The blue recycle bins in the main building hallways are placed and taken care of by college facilities and janitorial staff. They are well marked as to what goes in them.
The new set of recycle bins that the Bookstore has purchased from sales of their “green” merchandise will look different than the hallway bins, and serve the outside areas like the courtyard, the Bookstore atrium and in front of Takena Hall. They will include a bin for composting food items and biodegradable food and coffee drink containers from food services on campus.
“The issue has been education. Since we have new students coming in each term, we are always looking for ways to let new students know what can be recycled and composted on campus, and how to recycle,” said Lori Fluge-Brunker, Master Recycler and an active member of the Sustainability Committee. “We do often find trash in the recycle bins, which can cause the recycle to be treated, in essence, as trash. So educating people about recycling is important.”
In order to help bring awareness to recycling on campus, the Green Club hosted a “Know What you Throw” recycling table during fall term to answer recycling questions.
Along with that event, the Green Club will be hosting a “Waste Audit” where they collect trash from around campus, then sort and weigh the trash to see how much is actually garbage and how much could have been recycled or composted. This will be held March 13 at 1 p.m. and will be made visible to students and staff in the courtyard.
Most students and staff are interested in recycling and in doing it right, it’s just a matter of making it easy and clear for them to do it.