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TTU News


  • Students are rolling out a campus-wide recycling program beginning this semester for aluminum cans and plastic.


thumb recyclingLarge green and blue bins will be appearing across Tennessee Tech University’s campus this year, in a recycling program paid for and led by students.

The sustainable campus fee, which students voted to institute several years ago, has paid for 60 large bins for plastic and aluminum recyclables, and dozens of smaller yellow buckets for residents of the Tree House village in New Hall North and individual offices, while supplies last. Funds from the fee are helping to pay for a student recycling coordinator, Lydia Brown, who will oversee and manage the program.

“Her peers are paying for her to make Tech a better place,” said Andrew Smith, faculty head of the Tree House and member of the sustainable campus committee. “Students paid for all of these bins and we are committed to using their money responsibly.”

Brown and a small team of student workers will go to each building as needed to empty the bins. After the gradual rollout is complete, the team will develop a schedule for pick ups.

By the middle of the spring semester, each academic building will have at least two bins, a green one for aluminum cans and a blue one for plastic.

The Roaden University Center and Derryberry Hall will be among the first buildings to participate in the campus-wide effort.

Aluminum cans will be sold, and the money will go to buy more bins, making the program self-sufficient and sustainable.

“Growing up, my family and I grew a lot of our own food and we canned a lot. We’re interested in being as eco-friendly as possible,” said Brown, a senior French and history double major. “I was thrilled to hear that there was a job at Tech where I could use my eco-friendliness and give back to the campus community. It’s the perfect job.”

To celebrate the recycling program’s launch, there will be a festival and performances by a theater group, the EarthCapades, in early October to raise awareness around campus about the importance of recycling.

Though Brown will operate on a schedule, which will be posted online, building occupants will be able to contact her for additional pick ups at">