It’s about duty. To your college. To your battalion. To your environment.
This is the message that Citadel Recycling Manager Oswaldo (Wally) Nava communicates as the college moves to reduce waste in all departments and operations.
“In order for us to be a green campus, it’s our duty to maintain a sustainable recycling program. It’s our duty to the environment that we’re blessed to enjoy here on the banks of the Ashley River.”
Helping to lead the college into its second year of RecycleMania, Nava hopes that the program will continue to spread awareness on the importance of recycling. He’s worked to engage the faculty, staff and Corps in the eight-week contest between colleges across the United States and Canada.
Nava is quick to point out, however, that the true purpose behind participating in RecycleMania is not to win a competition—it is to raise awareness.
“We’re developing our ability for a green campus one step at a time, but one of the most important ones is getting everyone aware of how they can pitch in, which can only come when they understand why it’s important.”
In addition to helping encourage recycling rivalries between battalion companies, the competition also serves as a benchmark tool for college and university recycling programs to promote waste reduction in campus communities.
Beyond boosting awareness through RecycleMania, Nava has also seen the campus take concrete steps towards improving sustainability. The college has installed more than 80 recycling stations around the campus that make it just as easy to recycle a Coke can as it is to find a garbage bin. The Citadel is also becoming a paperless college, improving online communication between faculty, staff and students to reduce waste.
The mess hall also continues to be central in the fight for campus sustainability under the direction of Aramark Food Service Director Ty Sanders. Styrofoam product have been significantly reduced. Recyclable plates and utensils made of compressed leaves are being used for catering functions. Trays have been eliminated from dinner mess, cutting water consumption by 500 gallons a night, and all the oil used in the deep fryers is being recycled.
Energy saving measures is also a fundamental part of the college’s sustainability plan. An energy savings contract completed in 2009 guarantees the college an energy savings of more than $600,000 a year.
Reduce, reuse, recycle is more than a catchphrase—it’s a duty, and The Citadel is proud to lead by accepting it.