The Land Before Recycling
As Oberlin now endeavors to become climate neutral it is interesting to take a step back to the state of our environmental awareness only 17 years ago. At the time, there were no carbon credits, no solar powered buildings - just the struggle simply to bring recycling to campus. –The News Team
April 6, 1990
“It’s been a long struggle. It’s been a lot of bureaucracy. Oberlin was a little bit harder [to work with] than it should have been, considering its reputation as a progressive college,” said senior Jessica Wolff, an Ohio Public Interest Research Group (OPIRG) board member at-large who headed the committee which developed the proposal.
Previously, OPIRG volunteers and other concerned students handled all of the recycling done on campus.
“There hasn’t been an official program where the college says, ‘Our policy is to recycle,’” said Heidi Rabinowitz, the OPIRG campus organizer.
OPIRG submitted an official recycling program proposal to the College last spring. The idea was approved, but the requested $10,000 was unavailable. The Nord Family Foundation agreed to give half the amount if the College gave the other half. Last semester, college officials said the requisite $5,000 was unavailable. At their budget meeting last month, the Board of Trustees agreed to provide the money.
The money will be used primarily to buy recycling bins and to pay custodians and work-study students who will ensure smooth operation of the program.