Cerritos College
Cerritos College • Norwalk, Calif.

Talon Marks

Cerritos College • Norwalk, Calif.

Talon Marks

Cerritos College • Norwalk, Calif.

Talon Marks

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Cerritos launches pilot recycling program

Recycling is good for the bottle, good for the can, and now, it’s good for Cerritos College.
With support from Faculty President Dr. Linda Lacy and Operations Manager Arcadio Avila, the Rotaract Environmental Club has established a pilot recycling program on campus in collaboration with Green Earth Recycling. 

Cardboard bins designated to hold plastic and glass bottles as well as aluminum cans have been placed inside all classrooms and offices within the Physical Sciences building.

For the first month of the program, Communications major and Club President Katherine Garcia, with the help of Liberal Arts major Jennifer Hughes who is in charge of public relations for the club, will empty the bins themselves in order to gauge the program’s progress.

“We need student body and faculty support,” Garcia said, “because we can’t really start this up until people put trash into its proper place.”

After 30 days, what Garcia and Hughes hope is enough time for students and faculty to get in the habit of using the bins, Green Earth Recycling will provide workers to help collect bottles and cans from each classroom.

What interested Avila about the company was that it provides a free pick-up service and has, so far, been able to provide free bins while also returning 20% of the profits to the club.

“Currently, [Cerritos College is] limited in staffing and funding and can’t hire a specific person to go around and do the work,” Avila said.

After Green Earth Recycling begins conducting pick-ups, student involvement from those using the bins will still be necessary in maintaining the program’s popularity and clean disposal areas.  Club members will likely also help in emptying bins.

“We’re okay with [Green Earth Recycling] bringing in help, but we can’t just let it do all the work,” Hughes said.

Even without a student-run recycling program, Cerritos College is currently state-compliant as far as recyclable materials being separated from non-recyclable trash and disposed of properly by a consolidated waste company.

“California requires that we divert at least 50 % of our trash into recycling, and we currently exceed that amount,” Avila said.  He supports the idea of a recycling program because “the state suggests we do more.”

Once the program gains popularity and the club is able to fundraise for a larger effort, the founders hope to establish a permanent campus-wide recycling program, as early as next fall.  Bin locations are now being discussed.

“I want the bins outside, where they won’t interfere with classrooms, since now they might be uncomfortable for students and workers to access,” Avila said.

As the program takes its first steps, Garcia is mainly concerned with eliciting the help of the student body and faculty. “What we need now is for people to participate, show enthusiasm, and to use [the bins] properly,” she said.

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Rebeca Vega, Staff Writer
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Cerritos launches pilot recycling program