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Call made for arena recycling

Campus green group forms a proposal

Published: Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Updated: Wednesday, April 14, 2010 19:04


Amy Simpson

In a widespread effort to make the UCF campus a cleaner environment, the Student Sustainability Alliance has created a proposal to establish recycling inside the UCF arena.  

SSA is one branch of the UCF Sustainability Alliance, a 12-member Leadership Council that works to create a more sustainable community and be a means of communication from the students to staff. The Alliance is overseen by the UCF Arboretum and Land and Natural Resources. SSA, the student branch, pushes for a healthier environment and relays student demands to the staff.

Currently, there are recycling bins available outside the arena, but there are none inside. SSA's goal is for the arena to have bins inside as well.

The arena, which opened in 2007, is home to numerous large-scale events and holds 10,000 seats. Concession stands serve food and drinks. Guests are often forced to throw empty bottles away or bring them outside after exiting the arena. 

Katie Parrish, a senior and political science major, started the online petition after hearing complaints from students regarding the absence of recycling bins inside the arena.

Because of a busy school and work schedule, Parrish handed the reins to Lisa Kipersztok, a senior Molecular and Microbiology major and the president of SSA.

Kipersztok said recycling at the arena is crucial because UCF encourages recycling as a whole and the arena is a focal part of the school. 

"I think it's something that's very important because UCF as a whole encourages recycling," Kipersztok said. "If the arena, a central location at UCF, doesn't have it, it reflects poorly on our campus as a whole." 

SSA has watched the petition grow to about 550 students, which has been accomplished with minimal promotion. The petition can be accessed by going to the SSA's Facebook page and clicking on the link to their Web site.

While the UCF Arena has been slow to respond to the SSA, some action has been taken.

At the upcoming Campus Consciousness Tour, featuring Drake on April 21, the arena will be recycling. UCF Recycles will be provide bins for the event.

UCF Recycles, headed by Brian Wormwood, is the collection arm of the recycling efforts on campus and has recently been approached by the Arena regarding recycling. The arena is set up with office mini-can systems and event recycling containers in order to support the recycling cause.

"I think the arena's efforts to recycle are great," Wormwood said. "They are becoming one of the many champions of the cause on campus for recycling."

SSA also has a variety of plans in addition to just promoting recycling at the arena. They have five proposals total, including one for water sustainability, one for food sustainability and one for green advocacy.

They also plan to create a pamphlet to show where recycling bins are located on campus. It will include specific bins, such as light bulb recycling and ink cartridge recycling.

"We want to open student eyes about how many opportunities there are to recycle," Kipersztok said. 

With the UCF Arena finally responding to the student voice, Kipersztok and the SSA thinks the petition will succeed. 

"I think within in the next four years, [recycling] will be normal," Kipersztok said. "I'm pretty sure sooner rather than later, they will end up recycling because it's something that everyone wants. It's just about coordinating when and how."

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