by Robert Gardner, Think Green Correspondent
Keeping a campus clean is no easy task. As Montgomery County Community College grows, so too does the need to manage waste. Starting in the mid-1980s, cardboard boxes collected all the recyclables. New containers were rolled out when Advanced Technology Center went on-line. Now, receptacles for both trash and recycling can be found across the school grounds and in its buildings, including recently-renovated College and Parkhouse halls.
According to Supervisor of Custodial Services Steve Choyce, collecting and managing it all is a constant process of re-assessing the College’s needs and adding more containers as warranted.
“We’re constantly researching ways to make the systems more effective, more efficient,” he said.
One of the initiatives the College has undertaken to increase efficiency is the Hydration Station, a water filtration system which encourages students, faculty and staff to carry a reusable container that they can refill for free as needed. This would greatly reduce the amount of plastic water bottle refuse—not surprisingly the #1 trash item on campus. Currently, the only such Station is in ATC at the second floor bridge.
Choyce is no stranger to the green movement. His passion for the environment can be traced back to his youth, when he recalls skipping school to attend the first-ever Earth Day at Belmont Plateau in Philadelphia in April 1970.
Montgomery County Community College works with local companies that share its dedication to environmentally-conscious practices. All trash and recyclables are collected by Interstate Waste Services and taken single-stream to Blue Mountain. Office paper, documents and files (nothing confidential) are collected and recycled as part of Abitibi’s Paper Retriever program.
“If you talk the talk, you have to walk the walk,” Choyce said of both his and the College’s commitment to a greener planet.
One walk around the clean campus and you will see this commitment in action.