Making a Difference

How does it work?

Keys to success

  • One key to success was the persistence with correcting the mistakes (i.e. - removing trash from the recycle bins and vice-versa).
  • Moving the recycling bins around in the kitchen to find a spot that would make sense and encourage more correct use.
  • Cutting down on the number of water bottles by installing a faucet water filter.

Reasons for recycling

  • Supporting the vision of the Green Team. Going Green, having a positive impact, going the extra mile and constantly looking for ways to cut cost and improve spending.
  • Prior to recycling the plastic water bottles and aluminum cans, our kitchen trash cans were always running over. The need to recycle was obvious.
  • Awareness-recycling made us aware of how much bottled water was being consumed. We noticed the majority of the water bottles was due to the amount of coffee being consumed because the coffee brewer requires bottled water.
  • Cost savings and reducing costs. Installing a water filter so that bottled water is no longer used.
  • Finally, recycling creates jobs at recycling centers. Job creation has a positive impact on the economy.

P. Lightfoot

Making a Difference: Recycling Goes Executive

“We are recycling because we CAN (aluminum). This is something within our control.” ~ P. Lightfoot

Priscilla Lightfoot spearheaded the recycling expansion in the Augusta University executive administration offices. Her colleagues were right there to lend a helping hand and support this local “grass roots” recycling initiative.

Priscilla notes, “President Azziz reminds us that 'Good Enough is Not Enough'. He encourages everyone to look for improvements. Many of his blogs have been about making a difference, having a positive impact, and going the extra mile. When one of the senior executives walked out of our office and asked for a recycling bin to put his empty bottle in, I realized, we were not on board with the vision of our President to help our campus become “greener” and more sustainable. ”

The Administrative Offices were already using Augusta Data Storage for paper shredding and recycling, but recently started recycling aluminum cans, plastic water bottles, and added a water filter.

Getting Buy-in

“It is always my goal to add value to the enterprise. If it means going the extra mile, I'm willing to do it,” Says Priscilla. But buy-in from others took a little time while getting past the learning curve. Emails were sent out advising of the new recycling initiative. Everyone actually picked trash out of the recycle bins and moved recyclable items from the trash to the recycling bins during the first few weeks. But eventually, everyone moved towards the CAN-do attitude!

P. Lightfoot

Getting it Done

Preliminary Steps

Determine the best option for recycling bins for your department. Priscilla contacted Kevin Doyle and he sent pictures and prices of different bin types. They then made arrangements with Jesse Dantignac in Environmental Services to coordinate the pick up for the primary recycle bin.

Finding a location for the bins

Several options were explored: the kitchen was too small, the stairwell was against regulations, and the hallway was not aesthetically pleasing.

The solution? Two small, clearly labeled blue trash bins (one for aluminum and one for plastic) in the kitchen and a large bin (divided into one side for plastic and one side for aluminum) in the file room did the trick!

Emptying the bins

Once the smaller blue bins are filled, their contents are moved to the larger five gallon bin that is stored down the hall. No one is assigned to “recycling duty.” The staff is proactive and chips in. The aluminum and plastic are kept separated and are transferred to the large bin when necessary. Once the large bin is filled, recyclables are picked up by environmental services.

The Team

Members of administrative offices that helped to move this effort forward are: Kelly Carr, Janice Freeman, Patricia Goodwin, Priscilla Lightfoot, Shirley Schulte, Laura Sherrouse, Felicia Smalls, Alicia Stewart, and Nancy Waks.