Georgetown’s main campus recently upgraded its recycling capacity, a move that has drawn praise from environmentally conscious students.
embers of EcoAction, the principle environmental advocacy group on campus, displayed enthusiasm over the new effort.
“The school has installed BigBelly solar trash compactors. .The center part uses solar power to compact regular trash, while the outer parts are intended for recyclable materials,” said Claire Austin (SFS ’12), the recycling and consumption manager of EcoAction and a contributing writer to THE HOYA.
Karen Frank, vice president for facilities and student housing, noted that the BigBelly compactors are expected to make trash consumption and recycling more efficient.
“The BigBellies are solar-powered compactors, which means that there are no emissions and they have to be emptied far less frequently, also conserving fuel used by the vehicles to collect the contents,” Frank said. “We expect that the addition of the BigBellies will help Georgetown minimize waste and maximize recycling.”
Frank confirmed that the program expansion is being funded by the facilities operating budget. In addition to installing the compactors, the university has hired two new staff members and purchased new recycling trucks and dorm room recycling bins.
Jonathan Cohn (COL ’10), the current treasurer of EcoAction, said that one of the primary purposes of the program is to augment on-campus recycling by increasing the scope of materials that can be recycled.
“In the past, you were only able to recycle No. 1 and No. 2 plastics (bottles, milk jugs, [et cetera]),”Cohn said in an e-mail. “However, now we are able to recycle all plastics. That’s right: The yogurt cups can go in, and even better, the Solo Cups can go in.”
Cohn expressed approval that was echoed by the entire EcoAction leadership. Kristin Ng (COL ’11), president of EcoAction, spoke on behalf of the board to praise the university and outline the next step in campus waste management reform.
“EcoAction is completely behind this. . This new system makes it a lot easier for the student to recycle, which is a great huge step,” Ng said. “Now it’s time to actually get the students to recycle.”