SC State Goes 'Green' for Green

Monday, September 13, 2010

BRIAN TROUTMAN/Reprinted from the Times and Democrat

Kay Snider, S.C. State Staff Senate president, said bins on campus like this one outside of Andrew Hugine Suites must be emptied regularly to prevent overflow.

Turn trash into treasure - that's the goal of South Carolina State University's new recycling program.

Launched on Aug. 13, 2010 as one of many green initiatives planned by the Staff Senate, the program has received an overwhelming response from faculty, staff and students.

"We wanted to start out with something we thought would be small," said Kay Snider, Staff Senate president. But Snider said after launching the project, it is anything but small. The response has prompted a scramble for more resources, including more recycling bins to spread throughout various areas of campus.

In addition to doing something positive for the environment, the Staff Senate hopes to raise at least $50,000 for the University with the recycling program. Snider notes that after the initial response, $50,000 may easily be surpassed. The program is being pushed and promoted from all areas, from University administrators to student leaders and resident assistants.

"We have a lot of waste everywhere," Snider said. "What's a better way than to recycle and use that process to generate funds."

Currently, there are recycling bins for paper, plastic, plastic bottles and aluminum cans on many areas of campus, and plans include equipping each dormitory on campus with bins. There are also plans for spreading several 95-gallon bins around the University, including tailgating areas and Oliver C. Dawson Stadium.

But it doesn't stop there. Snider said the University is also willing to collect recyclables from the community as needed. "SC State will pick up, meet halfway or provide community members directions to campus," Snider said. "Whatever it takes to generate those funds, that's what we're willing to do."

Of the funds raised via the project, 60 percent will go to need-based scholarships, 25 percent to operating expenses for the Staff Senate, and the rest will go to a discretionary fund. Snider said 100 percent of matched gifts will also go to need-based scholarships.

"It's difficult to generate funds," she said. "We figure if we do it ourselves, others will jump on the bandwagon. Everybody wins from this. Everybody benefits."