Changes on the way for GHC recycling

Bernie Mitchell empties the full recycling bin in front of the Office of Strategic Planning on the Floyd Campus. Photo by Scott Hale.

It’s not easy being green, but Georgia Highlands is ready to take the challenge.

There are big changes ahead for the college when it comes to its recycling policy.

On Jan. 12, Rob Whitaker, vice president of financial affairs, announced that Highlands will be taking a proactive approach to recycle more, and Phillip Kimsey, director of the physical plant, will be leading that approach. The biggest change for the Highlands’ recycling program will be a written policy for how the college deals with recyclables.

Whitaker said, “We wanted a program in place before we sat down and wrote a policy. Now it’s time to sit down and write a policy.”

Each campus will have some variation in its own recycling program, but all campuses will recycle paper, plastic bottles and aluminum cans.

All campuses have contracted someone to come and pick up the recyclables. The Floyd campus’ paper will be picked up by Carestar Industries for recycling, and the Marietta campus will follow Southern Poly’s policy. With this new program and policy, the Green Highlands Club is expected to expand. Kimsey says, “Green Highlands does a great job at the Cartersville campus, and we would like to see their impact at all of our campuses.”

The key factor to making this policy a success is individual involvement. Kimsey said, “We are very excited about this program, but we really need the support of faculty, staff and students. It’s up to everyone to do their part, to make a conscious effort to place their recyclables in the appropriate bins.” According to Whitaker, some simple things faculty, staff and students can do is to make sure that plastic bottles and aluminum cans are completely empty before throwing them into the recycle bins.

Whitaker said that another issue is tobacco spit; bottles containing tobacco spit should be rinsed out before they are disposed of. Kimsey believes that faculty can set an example for the students in their classes by placing papers in the recycle bins instead of the trash. Whitaker said, “We need a group effort to make a group impact; however, it’s a personal choice. If everyone does their part, the impact will be enormous.”