What We Do
The Boiler Green Initiative Recycling Committee is a team within BGI dedicated to reducing Purdue’s environmental impact by reducing the waste it generates. Informing people on material – or product – life-cycles, changing how they qualify a material’s usefulness, and providing them opportunities to put their new found knowledge to use are our foundational responsibilities through which we make Purdue a more sustainable campus.
Why We Do It
Waste is normally handled in an environmentally harmful way, and it just so happens that the US produces more waste than any other country. Most people don’t know what happens to the things they throw away, which means most people don’t know how, or even if, they are hurting the environment. We inform people about a product’s life cycle, emphasizing the environmental effects of that product’s disposal, because we hope to drive a desire to reduce waste. We figure that if we can change how people qualify a material’s usefulness, or in other words, teach people to find more uses or value in the materials they use, they will start to qualify their “trash” as useful, leading to a reduction of waste. Of course, what they learn is useless if the university provides no system for better recycling practices to occur, so it is our responsibility to design and implement those systems.
How We Do It
Our committee fulfills its responsibilities by forming groups that focus on particular projects of their own choice and design. That means anyone in this committee has a chance to directly improve Purdue’s recycling by voicing their ideas and showing initiative. To best accomplish our projects, we reach out to faculty and the community to make use of their resources. By growing our network, members inevitably grow their own while spreading our committee’s vision of a greener campus.
- Reduce-Reuse-Recycle Campaign with Purdue’s Sustainability team from the New Synergies Task Force. 10 educational posters put around campus in high traffic areas. (see purdue.edu/sustainability for more info.)
- Football Stadium Recycling! Over 92,000 lbs of glass, aluminum, cardboard, and plastic recycled in the past 2 years.
- Eliminating the Use of Cover Sheets in iTap Printing Labs
- Receiving grant money to put recycle bins in Purdue’s Stewart Center
- Convinced mini-marts at Purdue residence halls to switch to corn-based cups instead of Styrofoam
- Green Tree Plastics Bench Project – Collected 400 lbs of bottle caps to be made into a long-lasting plastic bench which was placed at a nearby elementary school
- Amazon Boxes Project – This is a brand new project to collect boxes and then hand them out to dormitory students at the end of the year to help with moving out
- Recycling Survey – We designed a survey to inform us on how Purdue students view recycling, how they recycle, and to collect ideas on what projects we should undertake
- Food Scrape Project: Members set up garbage cans in several dining courts to measure how much food are wasted by students and to educate students to about eating all the food on their plates.
The start of the year is an exciting time, many new ideas come in along with new members. Check back in one month and this list will be longer!
- Football Stadium Recycling – This is our club’s biggest and longest lasting volunteer activity where we collect recyclables at all home football games. It started in fall 2017 and it is currently successfully active in fall 2018.
- Food Scrape Project: This is another project that the organization is continuing in Fall 2018. More information will be updated.