Dec. 6, 2007
By Jennifer LaRue
Ohio University-Lancaster concluded fall quarter by shredding 1,851 pounds of documents -- equivalent to about 16 trees. But the paper won't end up in a local landfill.
"The shredded paper will be sent to a company that pulverizes it into a powder, sprays it with flame retardant and makes it into cellulose insulation," said Chad Reed, marketing director for Fairfield County Community Action and Recycling, which partners with the Lancaster campus on recycling and provided the document shredder.
The documents were discarded from across campus as part of Fall Sweep, an activity associated with the campuswide Go Green campaign. The Go Green campaign was launched in September with a cookout and free themed t-shirts for all students and staff who signed a recycling pledge.
"With this year's Go Green theme, it seemed appropriate to sweep the campus of all unnecessary clutter," said Dean MaryAnn Janosik, who initiated the campus environment theme. "We hope that in the days and weeks ahead we will be able to identify newly discovered space and begin the process of reassessing how we can best utilize it.
"The initial response to the Fall Sweep has been very positive," Janosik added, "and I am pleased that so many members of the campus community have participated."
For many faculty and staff, the Fall Sweep was a liberating process. Some went beyond their offices to clear out labs and storage areas. Books were boxed for shipping to Africa and furniture corralled for reuse or delivery to the Athens campus for the surplus auction.
The Lancaster campus initiative also supports the American College and University Presidents' Climate Commitment, which calls for the development of comprehensive plans to achieve climate neutrality and tangible actions to reduce greenhouse gases while the plan is being developed.
Through the Go Green campaign at OU-L, additional recycling containers are located around campus and staff members are transitioning to the use of biodegradable cleaning products. Smoke-free parameters have been extended, the Phi Theta Kappa chapter sponsored an environmental awareness day with educational displays and the campus booth at the Fairfield County Fair focused on recycling. Faculty and staff even are planning a composting station.
In addition to borrowing Community Action's document shredder, the Lancaster campus partners with the agency for recycling paper, cardboard, plastic, aluminum and glass, and hopes to add a trailer to double campus collection capabilities.