|UTM students ask residents to ‘go green’ |
|Posted: Friday, April 6, 2012 12:00 pm |
The highest point in West Tennessee is 657 feet. The landfill in Camden this year surpassed that height. According to research, 59 percent of waste in a landfill could have been recycled.
That was the pitch given by UT Martin experimental psychology students to the City of Martin Board of Mayor and Aldermen Tuesday evening.
The group of students as part of a service learning project has launched a pilot curbside recycle collection service in the Scenic Hills subdivision.
Anthony Kelly, Tiffani Gann and Janelle Cleaves presented a summary of the group’s work thus far in an effort to spotlight a potential curbside pick-up service for recyclables.
The pilot project launched Feb. 25. Of the 68 houses in the area, 45 households opted to participate in the program.
All recyclables are placed in bins or bags, which are set on the curb by 10 a.m. Saturday morning. A crew of eight student volunteers spend on average 45 minutes sorting and picking up the materials every Saturday morning.
The project, now in its halfway point, has been responsible for collecting 1,197 pounds of recyclables in the subdivision.
“It has been a very low-key operation because of manpower,” UTM professor Angie MacKewn told board members. She said the goal is to acquire grant funds for the university to possibly provide a curbside pick-up service in the future.
Currently, UTM houses UTM Recycles!, a facility that is a drop off point for recyclables. Workers sort and recycle the materials collected at the facility throughout the week.
The students said the foundation for recycling is already in place within the community; with a truck, workers and funding, the idea of a curbside pick-up service is within reach.
Thus far, there have been approximately 15-25 hours of volunteer time donated by each student for the curbside pilot project in Scenic Hills. Plans are to be finished with the project April 28.
Each week, the crew will collect paper, plastic, glass, aluminum and steel for the subdivision.
Since the project began, paper pick up has grown from 239 gallons to nearly 479 gallons each week; plastic pick up has grown from 119 gallons to 239 gallons; glass collected averages from 6 to 12 gallons, aluminum collection has grown from 2 gallons to 18 gallons and steel pick up ranges from 4 to 6 gallons.
The group plans to update the board with final numbers once the project is complete.