Solid Waste Authority Awards $1,000 to CU Eco Club
Athens, W.Va. – Mr. Jerry L. Haynes, manager for the Mercer County Solid Waste Authority, presented a check for $1,000 and a certificate of appreciation to the Concord University Eco Club on Thursday, May 17. Accepting on behalf of the club was Mr. Eric Combs from Camp Creek who serves as vice president of the club.
Mr. Haynes noted that the money and recognition was due to their tireless and conscientious recycling efforts in operating the Concord University recycling program that each year sends an estimated 2,000 pounds of cardboard, 400 pounds of aluminum, and 9,000 pounds of plastic to the Mercer County recycling center. “Their efforts are a leading factor in the success of the Mercer County Recycling Program,” Haynes stated.
“The problem with recyclables is that you make so very, very little. If 10 percent is trash, then we have to sort it and dispose of it and that costs more than what the recyclables would bring in.
“We’ve been working together for three years, now, and we have never had an experience like we’ve had with the Concord Eco Club. If I had to put a measurement on it I would say that 99.5 percent of everything that comes in from them is recyclables. They do an unbelievable job! The Eco Club from Concord contributes one fourth of all the recyclables that we collect in Mercer County.
“We furnished a trailer to them, and then pick it up after it is filled.
“It is just such a small margin of profit. The Eco Club is the difference between us showing a profit or not profiting from recycling,” he concluded.
Mr. Combs said that the Eco Club has 10 members. “We have a lot of volunteers including professors who help,” he stated. “We collect most of the materials from the residence halls, and plastic bottles are the most popular items on campus to recycle. Although most are pretty good about dropping recyclables in the containers … we do end up sorting trash from the recyclables. The women’s dorms seem to do a better job with recyclables that the men’s dorms,” Mr. Combs stated.
“The 99.5 percent is a result of your ‘sweat,’” noted Concord University President, Dr. Jerry Beasley, as he emphasized the importance of the contributions of the Eco Club and the volunteers who help with the process.
“This is an example of work that, I hope, takes hold more broadly. Our students and volunteers are setting a good example. I suspect that when it becomes more profitable that it will catch on in other areas.”
The Solid Waste Authority applied for a state grant and received $1,000 to award to the Eco Club. The Club has purchased 24 recycling bins that will be distributed around campus to collect materials. The lightweight bins will make it easier for club members to collect recyclables.
PHOTO: Concord University President, Dr. Jerry Beasley; Eco Club Vice President, Mr. Eric Combs (from Camp Creek); Mercer County Solid Waste Authority Manager, Mr. Jerry Haynes