University Relations and Marketing

Contacts:
Jeff Butts, Environmental Awareness Club, 855-2337
Rob Barnosky, ASMSUB president, 657-2365
Dan Carter, University Relations, 657-2269

April 3, 2009

Students take lead in new comprehensive recycling effort at MSU Billings

Plan will eventually put 96 collection stations across the university

MSU BILLINGS NEWS SERVICES — The first steps were made this week in a student-led effort to bring comprehensive recycling to Montana State University Billings.

Placing one blue plastic bin at a time, leaders from the Associated Students of Montana State University Billings and members of the Environmental Awareness Club demonstrated that students are actively interested in making a difference at the university.

“Recycling is the emphasis now, but we really want to make the university more sustainable,” said Rob Barnosky, president of ASMSUB.

""Using existing funding from student fees, ASMSUB and the Environmental Awareness Club purchased blue bins for collection of aluminum, plastic and paper and contracted with Earth First Aid to collect the materials on a regular basis. An ASMSUB student senator will also serve as Recycling Coordinator.

The program is called the Student Initiated Recycling Program (SIRP) and has been in development for about a year. Wednesday’s efforts to deploy recycling bins throughout the LA building and the library are just the first steps in fully implementing SIRP across the university, said Jeff Butts, president of the Environmental Awareness Club.

The plan includes bins to be added at the Education Building, Science Building, and McMullen Hall in the fall of 2009.  The Student Union Building, Rimrock Hall, and Petro Hall will be covered in fall with the Academic Support Center, Cisel Hall, Apsaruke Hall, Art Annex and McDonald Hall added by fall 2011.  The group anticipates that by the fall of 2012, students will finish the Physical Ed Building and College of Technology. 

When finished, 96 recycling stations will eventually be located at the main campus and at the COT.

Butts said students at MSU Billings have long been interested in recycling, but too often they have been on-again, off-again efforts.

“It kind of ebbed and flowed,” he said. “Students would often take care of it themselves, but then they would graduate and would drop off because they didn’t have the means to continue it.”

The SIRP effort, both Butts and Barnosky said, contains plans for the future and includes about $11,000 in the student budget for the next year.

“We found a way we didn’t have to charge students any more, but could give them what they wanted,” Barnosky said.

A recent representative survey of 733 students found that 97% of support recycling. The survey also showed that 96.5% of students would like to see more recycling and 91.2% said they would like the university, in general, to consider environmental impacts when making decisions.

For more information on the recycling effort, contact Butts, president of Environmental Awareness Club, at 855-2337, or the ASMSUB office at 657-2365.

Photo above: Students placed dozens of recycling bins this week in the Liberal Arts building. Some of those students were, clockwise from front left, Rob Barnosky, senior psychology major and president of the Associated Students of MSU Billings; Jeff Butts, senior environmental studies major and president of the university’s Environmental Awareness Club; Joe Krenzer, a junior biology major; Jonathan Bates, a sophomore environmental studies major; Jim Gruba, a senior environmental studies major; and Jacob Sharbono, a senior environmental studies major.

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