Plan in place to make campus greener

Plan in place to make campus greener

History club members Dylan Lahm (left) and Kyprian Wojciechonski (right) stack trash bags full of leaves and garbage.

Emily Colella, Staff Writer

Many people at area institutions have joined a worldwide movement to “go green.”

Area schools have followed the trend by coming up with green initiatives.

Colleges and universities alone have a huge environmental impact and moving toward sustainability can cause economic and environmental benefits to grow exponentially.

At Pitt-Johnstown, some progress has already been made in the going green movement. Recycling has been in residence halls. Separate bins for plastic and cans also can be found in all residence halls and in some classroom buildings.

Student Government Association members, along with professor Manisha Nigam, and Physical Plant directors have been organizing a green initiative that they said will bring Pitt-Johnstown closer to an overall goal of achieving optimum environmental sustainability.

Pitt-Johnstown hasn’t measured up to other universities when it comes to environmental sustainability, said association president Shelby Smith.

“The green initiative is UPJ taking strides toward a more sustainable and green future.”

The initiative is in planning stages. According to Smith, the new recycling initiatives should begin to take effect next semester.

Some of the plans  include acquiring compostable cups and utensils, which will allow composting of some campus waste.

A long-term goal is converting leftover oil from the cafeteria fryers into biodiesel. Campus golf carts  can run on the biodiesel, which is much more efficient for the university, Smith said.

A recycling initiative is to make it easier and more convenient for students and faculty to recycle.

According to plans, recycling bins and garbage bins will be placed in every residence room, making it easier for students to recycle.

The lobby recycling bins will be more clearly marked, including pictures and descriptions of what can and cannot go in the bins.

In the past, if non-recyclables were thrown in the recycling bins, everything had to be thrown out.

The participation of students and faculty will determine whether the plans work.

There are several ways the green initiative could benefit students if many choose to participate.

By becoming green, opportunities for new jobs, programs of study, and networking in the local community could arise.

The green initiative is being put into place in hopes that students will take advantage of all of the opportunities it will bring about, according to Smith.