Recycling tackles

Reuse, Reduce, Recycle, Really


Illustration by Jason Torres Iraheta and Madison Wilber / Times Staff

Vice President of Administrative Services Christopher Hawkins wants to start a recycling project at SJCC to improve campus life.

Vice President of Administrative Services Christopher Hawkins has a vision for a recycling project at San Jose City College. He believes that a recycling project could not only improve campus life, but also benefits students’ revenue as well. Hawkins said he would like to start the project by getting sponsored by the Association of Student Government.. Due to the short time period to get the grant approved, Hawkins said he could not successfully apply for the grant from ASG. Therefore, instead of applying for a grant, Hawkins is interested in asking if campus clubs could consider financially funding the recycling project, and perhaps would be able to recruit more students to participate in it.
The launch process
“The money [profits from ASG clubs] will help pay for the recycling containers on the campus, and then we will have these recycling containers. With this opportunity for ASG or any clubs to do the recycling,” Hawkins explained, “If they do the recycling, it would generate some revenue for their clubs.”
The investment would be beneficial to students’ campus life since ASG could make extra budget from the recycling project, Hawkins said. If the recycling program is successful, he would like to form a permanent recycling club in the future, however, the challenging part is that ASG has to agree to this project for at least three years, Hawkins said.
“New members of ASG each year would be uncertain about committing to the project for more than one year,” Hawkins said. “The key is to commit to the grant for at least three years in consistency.”
Key challenges
If there was widespread interest across campus for creating a recycling club, those taking the lead would need to fill out a form and find an advisor.
“That’s what I could offer and help.” Hawkins said. Up till now, the real challenge has been to recruit the students to participate in the movement, he said.
Students who choose to major in environmental science, or people who consider themselves to be environmentalists, would be potential participants but the whole concept is open for everyone, since environmental topics are universal. Hawkins said he is aiming to construct a revolution of recycling culture on SJCC campus.
Hawkins points out that there are containers for the landfill on campus, yet there are not enough recycling containers open to the public.
“People just throw everything in the landfill, which is a piece of an educational challenge,” Hawkins said. “We have to make sure people are properly forming a recycling process.”
Helpful Contributions
“The ASG budget would be handy for keeping the project’s process running. By coming into the clubs, any money that clubs make would help the students form the budget,” Hawkins described.
Other than the fund from ASG, student participation in campus life helps as well. Student awareness of the campus environment develops more perspectives in recycling projects or even cooperating with the club in the future.
SJCC offers environmental courses and some related education curriculums, students could earn knowledge about recycling by enrolling in the courses.
Campus Benefits
There will be benefits from the project.
With the recycling project and ASG’s budget, the project could offer more job opportunities for student workers. Also, with less cost of budget in hiring labor workers to collect the recycled materials, the saved budget could be used for more projects on the campus.
In addition to making profits from the project, Hawkins also has a goal of getting more funds for purchasing more water stations on the campus. Water stations and reusable water bottles could help reduce the usage of one-time-use plastic water bottles.
“It is healthier and free for everyone on the campus,” Hawkins said.
Future Outcomes
“That would be great to form a recycling club, part of the reason we do this is to spread this culture to the campus,” Hawkins said. The new recycling behaviors on the campus could build a new culture, which could be perpetuated by a new generation of students in the future with an educational perspective, this is what Hawkin’s wishes. “It is a message that we want to recycle; it is educational and concerned about what a future campus or plant would look like. I would like to see our campus cooperation between the students and the administration to develop our recycling program and culture,” Hawkins said.