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Friday, August 1, 2014

WCC Puts the Sun to Work

In a continuing effort to increase recycling efforts and reduce waste, WCC is piloting the use of solar trash compactors on campus.

According to Rick Westcott, Grounds Department manager, the idea to install the units came from Vice President Damon Flowers, who found them on a website. “We discussed it at our manager’s meeting and thought it was a good attention getter,” Westcott said. “We hope people in our community will see how much effort we are putting into reducing our carbon footprint.”

Five of the innovative units were installed the second week of July as part of a pilot program to determine their effectiveness for managing trash on campus. Locations are:

  • Business Education building: North entry
  • Gunder Myran building: East and west entries
  • Morris J. Lawrence building: East entry
  • Student Center building: Plaza

In addition to reducing waste, the new compactors are also expected to reduce labor costs. “We used to drive around every day to see if the approximately 36 trash receptacles on campus needed emptying—it was very labor intensive,” said Westcott. “But these units can hold more than a week’s worth of trash without being emptied, so staff are freed up to work on other projects. And scavengers like gulls and other wildlife can’t rummage through the bins because these units are fully enclosed.”

Now that they are up and running, Westcott says that the biggest challenge is getting people to use them. “Because students and staff aren’t aware of the new compactors, many drop their gum and trash into the green recycle bins around campus,” he said. “We want to encourage everyone to use the big brown boxes for all of their trash.”

To learn more about WCC’s new solar compactors, visit the manufacturer’s website.

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