Sustainability Beat

by Vance E. Woods

"Any man's death diminishes me, because I am involved in mankind, and therefore do not send to know for whom the bell tolls; it tolls for thee." John Donne

Sustainability has become a rallying cry in our society. We recognize, along with Donne, our mutual accountability-the quality of my world is the quality of yours, and we must work to maintain that world together. This cry has impacted the Baylor community, particularly in regard to recycling. Evidence of this emphasis is popping up all over campus as new plastic, aluminum and paper containers are being deployed in our facilities. With help of some fifty student, staff and faculty volunteers, we have been able to complete the installation of containers in Moody/Jones Library, the Student Life Center, the SUB, Rogers, and Baylor Sciences. In the course of the coming school year, we hope to complete this process in all of our campus facilities, and we celebrate the improvements we have seen already: increased recycling numbers, low contamination rates, and a skillful housekeeping staff that is determined to help this initiative succeed.

This summer, the university expanded its recycling efforts by working with Keep Waco Beautiful and the City of Waco to establish a comprehensive athletics recycling program. The initiative was launched at our first home game on August 28. Volunteer assistance has been crucial in this effort as well: besides helping to assemble and fit Floyd Casey Stadium with one hundred recycling containers, our volunteers have given of their time and energy to educate the game-going public in the particulars of the system. In the course of the first three home games we have seen an enthusiastic response from the fans, who have been quick to adapt to the new arrangement. The numbers for the first two games are exciting. We collected 2.5 tons of plastic bottles-an impressive amount by any standards, and one that will only grow as the season goes by.

Opportunities to "Go Green" are everywhere this year, and we are always on the lookout for new faces and new ideas. Recycling is an important part of Baylor's sustainability project; if you are interested in becoming part of this effort, contact Sustainability@baylor.edu, and help us work toward a healthier world.