Thursday, April 29, 2010

Experiential: Recycling Program Keeps Ramapo Green

By Krysta Daniels

Ramapo College is lucky enough to have a recycling program where students under the supervision of facilities pick up students’ recycling on a weekly basis. I’ve been a student here at Ramapo since 2008 and it has been a huge inspiration to see this group of students really help Ramapo become more green.

Other colleges that have a similar program include EARTH University, The Evergreen State College, Harvard University, University of British Columbia, California State University, Green Mountain College, Yale University, Aquinas College Glasgow University. Just by the looks of these colleges listed, you get a feel of prestige and Ramapo is included in this category.

The recycling crew at Ramapo College collects bottles, cans and paper and then sorts them. ”From my knowledge, this job was created by a couple of students who thought it would be beneficial to the school as well as the environment to recycle on campus,” said sophomore Andrew Wong.

This group is important on campus for the simple reason of green awareness. Students, staff and faculty should be aware of the different types of items to recycle and what a better way then to witness students on campus doing it for you. With this program you get to become educated on recycling facts, statistics and even the causes of global warming.

I was able to walk around with the crew on a very rainy Tuesday in March and see exactly what they do. They did everything from ride the elevator with recycling bins to sort through the bottles and cardboard to teaming up and giving a lending hand to another section of the residents halls. My trip with them started in the Village, which is located not too far from the entrance from Ramapo College. I brought my umbrella and a sweater and got to work with them.

I was privileged enough to chat with three of the student staff that recycle Ramapo’s goods. They shared with me their likes and dislikes about the job and what made them get started with this special environmentally friendly job.

The elected supervisor for the students is senior Jennifer De Shields. “At first it was about the money, but after I started working my concern for the environment grew. Although getting paid is very nice, the good it does for the environment is starting to outweigh the money,” said De Shields.

“Although we have supervisors in facilities, the job is student-run, so I like that we’re the ones who are more or less in charge. Although I like working outside on nice days, it’s pretty terrible working outside when it’s raining, snowing, icing, or bitterly cold and we’ve had a lot of that weather lately,” said De Shields.

The pay varies with academic year standing. Despite the job’s environmental aspect, there are pros and cons. “Well, the major enjoyment from this job is the feeling of helping out the environment. A dislike is sorting through student bins. For example, when a student puts plastics into a garbage can,” said Wong.

The entire experience took about two hours to complete the Village complex, but overall I had such a good time. I was able to see the exact grunt work taken in order to get this job done. Regardless if it were rain or shine, this job is a necessity on our campus. We are lucky that students have this passion for a greener world and do this job to better it. If you are looking for a job on campus, they are hiring students; simply contact the facilities office at Ramapo College.

Krysta Daniels is an undergraduate student at Ramapo College, pursuing a Bachelor of Arts in Communication Arts with a concentration in Journalism. She has worked as a staff writer on the Ramapo Newspaper, Ramapo College Marketing and Communication department, as well as contributed to Ramapo College's Bischoff Halls monthly newsletter. She is currently a Resident Assistant and enjoys her job with Residence Life. She was inducted into the Resident Assistant Honors Society, Rho Alpha Sigma in April 2010. Her goal is to continue her education at CUNY Graduate School of Journalism in 2011 and start a Christian Magazine when she is finished her masters.

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