Members of the Associated Students Organization and faculty want to improve sustainability awareness on campus to transform Pierce into a more eco-friendly school for future generations.
In the past, Pierce has struggled with regulating recycling programs on campus. According to ASO President Amir Haghi, Pierce is working on a new plan for recycling.
“Some problems we were having is that our recycling is being stolen by random looters, so we need to come up with a whole system of making sure the container is secure,” Haghi said.
Haghi also said the ASO has a Sustainability Committee, and they have begun planning an efficient recycling program.
“They drove out to Santa Monica City College, and they looked at what they were doing,” Haghi said. “They have a really thorough recycling program.”
Haghi said ASO’s Sustainability Committee will use ideas from local California community colleges to develop an improved recycling program on Pierce’s campus.
The Sustainability Committee reported that Santa Monica City College has implemented a system in which different colored plastic bottles are recycled separately. Haghi said ASO is planning to devise a recycling program similar to SMC’s.
According to Haghi, planning and funding for the recycling program will continue to develop, but it is “definitely not an overnight project.” Haghi said now is the time to promote environmentally friendly programs because of this generation’s strong support of sustainability.
“People really like environmentally friendly campuses. Once people see a presence, people will want to engage and be a part of it,” Haghi said. “It’s about helping creating more jobs and helping the environment, and giving a message about Pierce and who we are.”
Dean of Student Engagement Juan Carlos Astorga said that facilities on campus will also take part in the development of the new recycling program.
“One specific plan is to reach out to the director of facilities and jointly develop a plan of action,” Astorga said. “Purchasing recycling bins that will collect products will, in turn, be able to get these products processed. It’s a large commitment of work effort and time, so we must do this carefully and in collaboration with the campus facilities.”
Astorga also discussed a plan to minimize plastic bottle waste on campus.
“We are advocating for the installation of water refill stations around the campus so that we may encourage students to use reusable water containers, thereby lowering the carbon footprint on campus,” Astorga said.
Vice President of Student Services, Earic Dixon-Peters talks about their hope to increase engagement for recycling. He states, “Our hope is students will learn about recycling learn what it means, what it can do for us…and then hope our students put that into practice on campus and daily life.”
Recycling is the first step towards an eco-friendlier Pierce.