Mansfield University receives grant for new environmental program

MANSFIELD — Mansfield University accepted a grant through the PepsiCo Recycling Zero Impact Fund to implement a environmental sustainability program on campus. This award will initiate a single-stream recycling system and action plan to become a zero-waste campus by 2025.

“The idea with this project is to cultivate a campus-wide recycling system and culture that will increase Mansfield University’s recycling rate while reducing waste and pollution and raising conservation awareness through education and outreach programs that will enable future generations of environmental stewards,” Lee Stocks said, project director.

Single-stream recycling is where all recyclables, including paper, plastic, aluminum, cardboard, glass, etc., are placed in a single bin for recycling, Stock said. This method creates positive social, economic and environmental advantages over dual or multi-stream structures that separate recyclables.

Implementing this at Mansfield University will make recycling simple, providing the campus with two options for waste: recycle or landfill. The University will distribute bins in strategic locations to collect recycling and food waste. Recycling literature, promotional and educational materials will supplement the use of the bins.

The University also plans to expand its composting facility to collect and integrate organic waste to be redistributed as fertilizer. Waste audits indicate that 60 percent of office consumer waste can be recycled and 90 percent of dining service waste can be recycled or composted.

Mansfield University’s commitment to environmental awareness is the force behind its plan for a sustainable recycling program.

Mansfield University intends to redirect its waste. By recovering 30 percent more recyclables through the single-stream program, the campus will reduce greenhouse gas emissions, saving in gasoline usage, and will conserve additional energy to power 72 homes for a year.

The University is pleased to include students in this environmental, economic and social impact initiative. Environmental science student Janie Ghods looks forward to helping and educating her peers and hopes that students will become more environmentally aware.

“By encouraging students to engage in this project, they become part of a growing commitment to achieve zero impact … they can bring this concept with them into their communities with the desire to take care of our planet,” Ghods said.

For more information about the program, email lstocks@mansfield.edu.

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