Press Release Archive 2011 - 1999

The C of I kicks off comprehensive recycling program

2010. 01. 21.

CALDWELL – The College of Idaho along with the City of Caldwell today launches a recycling effort that is the largest in the city of Caldwell to date. Both entities are officially kicking off their parallel comprehensive no-sort recycling programs. Allied Waste, which provides complimentary recycling dumpsters on the C of I campus, will act as the service provider for both programs. As a result of changes in service type and level, both the city and the College expect a modest reduction in their monthly waste disposal costs; those savings will only grow as participation increases.A conservative estimate suggests the recycling program will reduce waste from the College by roughly one-third.

At the College, recycling is but one factor in a broader effort toward sustainability and environmental stewardship. Other programs already in place on campus include an organic garden, a shift toward hybrid vehicles in the College fleet, the inclusion of a chapter, "Greening of the Campus," in the Campus Master Plan, and a recently-completed energy audit.

As environmental studies and English professor Rochelle Johnson points out, "Many members of C of I's community have long hoped for a more sustainable campus, and we have acted toward this goal through several projects. Now under the leadership of President Henberg, whose commitment to environmental leadership is so welcome and so apparent, we are delighted to be undertaking a comprehensive recycling program. This program began with the College's students' hope for a greener world; they see that we can change our impact on this planet only by making real adjustments in our own lives."

Sophomore Kyle Letterle, president of TERRA (The Environmental Resource and Recreation Association) on campus, underscores that point by stating, "The recycling roll-out should not be seen as a finish, but rather as a beginning. In order for it to be a success it will need a comprehensive shift in mindset throughout the campus. I hope that everyone can realize that recycling is just a small part of acting responsibly. We should all learn to be cautious consumers and intelligent disposers. The phrase goes 'reduce, reuse, recycle' for a reason: they're all beneficial."

Adds freshman Katy Stewart, "I feel very fortunate to be given the chance to not only see the new program take off, but also to be able to have a part in implementing it. The single stream system, I'm hoping, makes it easy and convenient enough for students to take part in recycling and help reduce the amount of waste the College sends to the landfill. I am eager to see how the program develops throughout the next three and a half years."

In at least one critical area, the College's sustainable commitments are already starting to bear fruit: Admissions. Stewart cited the efforts as a key part of her decision-making process:

"I stayed in contact with a friend who was on the Sustainability Council and when I heard about it I knew I wanted to be involved. A big part of what I wanted in a school was their commitment to sustainability and social justice and I didn't really expect there to be a whole lot of that at a school in Caldwell, let alone it being a big part of the campus. I ultimately decided on attending C of I because the size of the school made it easy for me to get involved in all the things I wanted to in regards to sustainability and feel like I was making a difference and not merely being lost in a crowd."

Of course, the direct benefits of the program are still to come, as Caldwell Mayor Garrett Nancolas emphasizes, "Recycling improves our air quality, decreases production and disposal costs, increases our quality of life, and uses just a fraction of the available energy and resources than a traditional waste disposal program."

"As an educational institution we bear a special obligation to be mindful in setting an example of good stewardship today and in the future," acknowledges The C of I president Marv Henberg. "Partnering with the city in a commingled recycling program is a significant step, building on existing efforts at the College to eat and garden locally, focus on energy conservation, and educate students about our responsibilities toward nature."

"We are proud of the City of Caldwell and the College of Idaho for launching recycling in the new year and look forward to expanding it in the future and capturing more material from the residents in this part of Canyon County," observes Allied Waste General Manager Dave Fisher.

The press conference will be immediately followed by a reception hosted by students from the Sustainability Council and TERRA.