Standing on central campus armed with prizes and friendly smiles, members of the Compost Crew, the waste management branch of the Sustainability Service Corps, stopped passing Yale students to find out what they knew about recycling. The event, held on November 15th, America Recycle Day, was an opportunity for the Compost Crew to gain a sense of students’ recycling savvy and also educate students in a fun, informal context.
As Compost Crew leader Marc DeWitt recounts, students who stopped by the table the Crew had set up got the chance to win free pencils and t-shirts by taking a pop quiz on recycling. As he spoke with students, DeWitt learned that there was a significant lack of clarity among students about proper recycling practices. Many students had questions about single-stream recycling, which was recently instated at Yale to make recycling easier for students. Single-stream recycling allows students to dispose of all recyclable materials, from paper to hard plastic to glass, in the same receptacle. Though the straightforward system has been in place since January of this year, several students expressed confusion about the specifics of the process. DeWitt and the Compost Crew answered questions, corrected myths, and provided tips on the single-stream method and other aspects of recycling in the two hours they spent tabling.
In addition to discussing recycling, the Compost Crew posted signs near their table about the work of the Office of Sustainability. DeWitt says the event was successful in its efforts to spread awareness about recycling and sustainability on campus. The group plans to host America Recycle Day again next year.