During the construction of North Village Phase II, the school hired a waste hauling contractor to prevent waste and debris produced by the project from ending up in a landfill. While the college has plans to continue this method of recycling during summer construction, they have yet to implement it in current construction projects on campus.
North Village II’s construction produced 265 tons of waste, and over 99 percent of that waste was salvageable. The residual waste went to a landfill in Imperial, Pa.
According to Sustainability Coordinator Kelly Boulton, Empire Environmental provided the college with a dumpster which collects trash. The waste is transported to the company’s facilities where it is sorted. Material such as concrete, drywall and cardboard are recycled and materials that can’t be salvaged are sent to a landfill.
The company gives the college a report each month of what was collected, which the college can track to count towards Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design certification., according to Todd Bookwalter, the project engineer of NV II.
“While the LEED certification can be meaningful, I think what’s most important are the intentions and actions behind the certification and these should be upheld even when there is no public recognition for the environmental choices,” said Elena Juodisius, ’13, secretary of the Students for Environmental Action club.
The fee for this service is usually $100 per dumpster pull, but can vary depending on the
area and the waste haulers available. Since Meadville does not have a lot of hauling options,
service is more expensive. Additionally, because the waste has to travel to Lisbon, Oh. to be sorted (a near two hour trip), it creates an energy dilemma.
“Do we recycle these things so that they can be reused and not take up landfill space, which also means we have to pay transportation costs? Or do we say that the transportation costs are too much and we’re going to have someone drive a truck up here and pick up a dumpster and drive it to a landfill?” Boulton said. “In the end we decided that since there was going to be transportation both ways, it was worth it to go a little bit further to Lisbon, [Oh.] and have [the waste] responsibly recycled.”
Some students are still wary of the fact that this sort of recycling simply costs too much.
“I understand that, because of costs, it’s hard to recycle absolutely everything,” said Alley Mikovich, ’11. “Allegheny has a budget too and sometimes in order to make that budget some things have to be sacrificed. I’m sure that if Allegheny recycled with every project they had, it would result in a tuition increase.”
Despite the cost, Allegheny will continue to use waste recycling for future projects.