With the 50th anniversary of Earth Day approaching on April 22, 2020, many organizations and programs on Albion College’s campus are making an effort to recognize and care for the environment in any way they can.
The facilities and grounds department recently placed five purple refuse containers outside of Baldwin, the Kellogg Center, Ferguson and the Library. There are also three blue plastic and aluminum recycling containers placed outside Baldwin, the Library and the Kellogg Center.
While facilities and the grounds is responsible for the campus environment, they also contribute many hours to updating and renovating the campus each year. As students, faculty and staff have seen over the past year there have been updates such as the water bottle refilling stations in efforts towards sustainability.
“With Earth Day approaching on April 22, the facilities and grounds department felt it was important to upgrade our existing refuse containers to a more modern, aesthetically pleasing look,” said John Hibbs, Albion College Director of Grounds, via email.
Hibbs added that the old containers on campus were in various conditions, and there are no dedicated containers outside on campus for plastic or aluminum recycling. This was viewed as a perfect opportunity to make a campus effort to emphasize sustainability and campus beautification.
The 2019-2020 fiscal year facilities budget funded the containers that were purchased from Recycleaway.com. The “Stadium Series” container style that was purchased is used across campuses nationwide.
“We chose them because of their sturdy build, ability to withstand our unpredictable Michigan weather, and the opportunity to use our school shield to promote our institution,” said Hibbs.
The new containers cost approximately $650 each, which is just around $100 more than the old containers on campus.
In coming years, Facilities and Grounds hope to promote a more efficient use of the single stream recycling containers, as well as revisiting the potential of implementing an on-campus composting program.
“We as a facilities team are always looking for ways to promote and beautify campus,” said Hibbs. “Having the opportunity to do so in a productive way which promotes sustainability is an added bonus.”
It’s the continuation of a great Earth Day legacy. Watch a CBS News report about the first Earth Day at the following link.
Facilities and grounds employees do work hard to keep our campus safe and beautiful–I appreciate them very much. But is it true that these employees have been working on an expired contract since July 1, 2019? I don’t appreciate that, and I’m sure they don’t either.
(Originally sent to The Pleiad 2/19/20)
Last month, I was talking with an Albion College union worker who told me that they have been working under an expired contract since July 1, 2019 (7 MONTHS!). Unfortunately, my position here is not unionized, but I believe those who are unionized deserve a negotiated, ratified and current contract. Robert De Niro said it well recently at this year’s Screen Actors Guild Awards, “Political leaders who support unions are more likely to support affordable care act, equitable taxes, humane immigration regulations, a safe environment, a diverse citizenry, reproductive rights, sensible gun control and fair wages and benefits.” I would add all (not just political) leaders to De Niro’s list, including those at Albion College, and strongly urge them to finish good-faith negotiations with our campus’ union and finish their contract. Finally, as honoring the life and legacy of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. turned to Black History Month, let us all remember that Dr. King spent his last days on Earth supporting striking sanitation workers in Memphis.