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Dumpster Dive highlights Earth Day celebration

April 21, 2015

Dumpster diving returns to IUPUI Wednesday as a highlight of this year’s Earth Day celebration.

The latest dive is scheduled from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. in the Business/SPEA Breezeway, supervised by Ray’s Trash Service, Inc., the Indianapolis company serving as the campus’s waste/recycling vendor.

Past Dumpster Dives have proved instructive for IUPUI students, combining education (what is and what is not recyclable) and achievement (sorting through containers for reusable trash) to help the campus achieve recycling goals set by the Student Sustainability Council.

Ray's Trash Service members and IUPUI students

A member of Ray’s Trash Service, left, teaches IUPUI students how to discern what is recyclable during a past IUPUI Dumpster Dive. | Photo By OFFICE OF SUSTAINABILITY

The Office of Sustainability, Campus Facility Services, Democracy Plaza and Ray’s will lead the dive.

“These events teach us how much waste we produce on campus, and how items that we just throw away can be recycled for other purposes,” said Paul-Michael Montoya, the Student Sustainability Council president. “They can be turned into other products or converted into energy, and thus save money and contribute to Indiana’s economy.”

The Dumpster Dive will run concurrently with a Pass-the-Mic discussion of social justice and its role in recycling and sustainability. Emma Fletcher and Liam Roche of Democracy Plaza will host the conversation from noon to 1 p.m.

Also, ambassadors from the Office of Campus Visits will serve as “Recycling Rockstars” near trash receptacles in Citizens Commons from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., encouraging students and staff to recycle and to collect bottle caps as part of IUPUI’s support of “Bottle Caps for School Benches.” That partnership with the NCAA will convert bottle caps into benches near Indianapolis area schools. The project runs through April 30.

“We are always looking for ways to make our campus, our city and ourselves more mindful of ways to treat our environment with more respect,” said Deb Ferguson, the assistant director of the Office of Sustainability. “There are so many ways we can make IUPUI a leader in sustainability in Indianapolis, and it’s an opportunity we want to help our campus embrace.”

The Earth Day celebration will wrap up at 7 p.m. with an “Earth in Balance: Indy’s Efforts for a Sustainable Future” event in Room 450 of the Campus Center. The School of Public and Environmental Affairs Student Council, the Indiana Recycling Coalition and the Student Sustainability Council are sponsoring “Earth in Balance” to encourage public conversation about the city of Indianapolis’s agreement with Covanta to combine its waster incinerator operation with a recycling program.

The event will feature a presentation by Carey Hamilton, executive director of the Recycling Coalition, and a panel discussion that includes Indianapolis Councilman John Barth and Myles Cohen, the president of recycling with Pratt Industries. It runs from 7 to 8 p.m., with doors opening at 6:30 p.m. Come early to meet the Herron School of Art & Design artists of Whole Earth II, taking place on the fourth floor of the Campus Center.

Note: This story is part of an ongoing series highlighting IUPUI's Strategic Plan initiatives.

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