Capital implements new recycling initiative

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Paul Matthews and Rima Leonaviciute of Facilities Management have implemented a new recycling initiative on campus this semester.

Throughout previous years, most offices around campus had older containers that were mainly used to recycle paper. Matthews, who came aboard the Capital faculty in January, mentioned the lack of recycling bins around campus.

“Yes, we have recycling on the exterior of the building, but it wasn’t really very noticeable in the academic facilities,” Matthews said.

Over the summer, Matthews, Leonaviciute and a few students began to beef up recycling throughout various buildings around campus.

“The students went space to space to see what we had, and what we have to add,” Leonaviciute said. “We added additional signage and a lot of additional cans, which means now every classroom, every office, every common space has a trash can and recycling can.”

All 144 new recycling containers were cost-free from a company called EAL. Shipped from Fresno, Ohio, the containers are all made from recycled materials.

The office also added images on or around the recycling containers to show which items are recyclable, making it easier to determine what goes in the trash and what goes in the recycling bin.

Matthews also mentioned a new compost program.

Innovative Organics, a recycling company located in Alum Creek, Ohio, contacted Capital about compost. Owner Ray Leard analyzes how much compostable waste (napkins, food scraps, etc.) is generated.

“I want to use [the compost] for fertilizer in the future,” Matthews said. “The goal is to create a community garden.”

According to Matthews, Capital is a part of a Zero Waste plan that Bexley is creating.

“Bexley has a master plan,” Matthews said, “where basically, in X amount of years, we produce zero waste.”

Of the multiple steps involved, the committee is currently on the first step, but are hoping to continue the plan in the future.

Capital is not just being mindful about compostable and recyclable items. Over the summer, Capital also donated 425 mattresses to a local church to provide to families in need.

“At the end of the school year, when the students were moving out, we were collecting old clothing, food, shoes, whatever they had that was still good to use, but they didn’t want to take home,” Leonaviciute said. “We had huge success from the donations from the students at the end of the year.”

Matthews spoke about MyBed, a company located in Versailles, Illinois, and the new sustainable mattresses that replaced those that were donated.

“This mattress never has to go to a landfill,” Matthews said. “It’s guaranteed for 25 years.”

Rather than focusing on the basic recycling of cans in classrooms and offices, Facilities Management is looking at the whole approach. If it’s successful, they will expand the program to include more of the academic buildings and residence halls on campus.

Sydney Deibert

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