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Fort Lewis College has been recycling since 1987. Recycling began at FLC through the dedication of Donald Gordon and volunteer students. The first material recycled at FLC was paper, the program was known as the “paper chase”. In 1991 the Environmental Center was started at FLC and the recycling program took off! In 1994-1995 the physical plant took over the job of recycling due to lack of support and involvement from the student body. Today the collection and processing is still run and funded by the physical plant. The Environmental Center's Zero-Waste Team works to increase recycling through research and education. This partnership has now kept FLC recycling for the last 20 years!
The Waste Reduction Program at Fort Lewis College serves the entire campus community by the collection, processing and marketing of recyclables on campus as well as the promotion of reduction, reuse and recycling through education and experience.
Long Term Vision
The Waste Reduction Program aims to limit the amount of solid waste produced by Fort
Lewis College, through means of education about, and implementation of,
reduction, reuse, buying recycled and source separation as well as recycling
services. Dumpster Surveys can be conducted to advise the campus where
dumpster use can be reduced and where extra education about proper recycling is
needed. A waste exchange program
can be implemented on campus in order to reduce both solid waste and purchasing
needs. The expansion of recyclable
commodities will also reduce the solid waste on campus and generally improve the
local and global environment. In 2007, a campus-wide sustainability assessment will review Fort Lewis' waste reduction and recycling program and compare it to other campuses across the nation.
Benefits to the Campus/Community
Reducing waste on our campus will benefit both our campus as well as the surrounding local and global communities. Implementing measures to reduce our waste have resulted in a reduction of waste related fees which were between $40,000-$50,000 annually to the current rate of approximately $30,000 to $35,000. An institution of higher education has more important priorities than filling a hole in the ground. Such a reduction will also extend the lifetime of our local landfill in San Juan County, NM, Crouch Mesa. A waste exchange program will reduce the need for purchasing the amount of supplies thus reducing more costs. Reducing our purchases, increasing recycling, and increasing our purchases of recycled products will all help to significantly reduce pollution, energy, and resource consumption; further helping our global environment.