Humboldt State University

What We're Up To: Recycling Program Gets New Name, New Focus

Recycling Program Gets New Name, New Focus

With the onset of the new school year, the recycling program on campus has a new name. The Waste Reduction and Resource Awareness Program (WRRAP), formerly the Campus Recycling Program, has changed its title to better reflect the focus of its work.

When students formed the program over 20 years ago, recycling was their main goal. With little more than a truck, these students took it upon themselves to gather, sort and recycle campus waste.

The program is still student-run, but the new focus is on waste reduction, diversion and education. “It’s definitely a lot different than it used to be,” says Kyle Stammerjohn, former director of the WRRAP compost program who helped rename the group.

The program includes R.O.S.E., the reusable office supply exchange on campus. It also offers advice and assistance on making campus events Zero-Waste Events. And HSU Takes Back the Tap works within the program to promote waste reduction through use of tap water versus bottled water. But perhaps the dirtiest part of the program is composting.

That program uses the "Compost Cart" − a golf cart with a hand-painted trailer − for their compost bucket pickups. Buckets can be found all over campus, from Founders Hall to the BSS building to the J cafeteria.

Students can also find compost barrels near the R.O.S.E. House and Creekview residence hall. And students are encouraged to take advantage of these compost containers, because one person’s trash is another person’s treasure.

"I want people to keep giving me their apple cores," Stammerjohn says. "Anything that used to have roots, and eggshells too." The most common compost for HSU is coffee, banana peels, orange peels, apple cores and teabags – and lots of paper.

The product of finished compost – black gold – is great for plant growth. The program donates its black gold to HSU Groundskeeping for plant beds, but most of it goes to the Campus Center for Appropriate Technology (CCAT).

"CCAT is a really good outlet because they use black gold in their gardens," Stammerjohn says, "and they also do education."

The recycling program works with CCAT and Youth Educational Services to increase waste diversion. Through activities like clothing swaps and Donation Dash, where students moving off campus donate reusable household goods, these groups hope to keep reusable items in the hands of those who need them and out of the landfill.

"About 65 percent of landfill weight is compostable," Stammerjohn says. "When it’s two thirds of the mass of a landfill, why not reuse it?"