SEAC requests program funding
By Myra McGriff
Saint Mary's Editor
After drafting a proposal for a campus wide system for recycling of glass, plastic and aluminum last year, the Student Environmental Action Coalition (SEAC) has only completed the fist step to seeing progress in the fruition of the program.
Meeting with vice president of finance Keith Dennis before fall break, SEAC was informed that all of its work might have been in vein if it cannot find the funding. In their proposal drafted and presented to both the Board of Governess (BOG) and the Academic Council last year the club detailed steps to instituting a campus wide recycling program. This program includes four main points divided into the categories of support, student education, contracting with a city recycling company and clearly labeled bins.
SEAC's proposal received the go ahead from both boards.
But SEAC is in limbo as to what they should go ahead and do. Considering that it is three months into the school year and the recycling program has yet to receive strong finical backing, the club is concerned. Club member Teresa Lorenz wants to make sure the issue of recycling doesn't take a back seat, which she feels is possible if they do not get funding soon.
"The point is we are not getting the financial support needed and was understood to be committee to the project from the president on December 5, 2000. We shouldn't have to be competing for funding from other departments," Lorenz said.
Even though SEAC has offered start up money, enlisted the help of area organizations, as well as research and present to Dennis other state grant options like the Indiana Department of Environmental Management (IDEM), it has yet to see any money — money that Dennis doesn't know is available, because the program is expensive. The program alone would involve new containers, a continuous supply of liners, ready hands to collect the recyclables and a contractor — all of which Dennis is unsure can be funded.
"Building services would need a permanent staff to collect the bins and we are already spread thin. There would also need to be one to three new collection sites. We are looking at $1500 dollars a month, not including staff," Dennis said.
However, Dennis said John Delee, director of Facilities, is drafting a budget proposal for campus-wide recycling. The proposal should include a contractor, the cost and request for funds. The proposal will be included for consideration by the annual Campus Budget Committee. However, it will compete against the budget proposals of other departments on campus.
"Hundreds of people are asking for additional funding and there is no way of knowing if the recycling budget will be approved. We won't even know the competition until the end of November," Dennis said.
In the mean time SEAC continues to recycle plastic, glass and aluminum on a club level. With help from building service director Marilyn Rajski, the club has been able to do some recycling every other Friday.
"Mrs. Rajski has provided liners for the recyclables, let us use the college truck and has paid for gas," Lorenz said.
All News Stories for Tuesday, October 30, 2001