VGPS Receives 2nd Recycling Grant
Date: January 22, 2010
For the second year in a row, Andrews University—thanks to the Village Green Preservation Society (VGPS)—has received a grant to support waste reduction and recycling projects. This year’s grant, in the amount of $867, will be used to lower waste production in the Administration Building by placing recycling containers, as well as several other large containers, in each workstation by late January or February 2010.
Founded by Ben Oliver, a 2009 Andrews University graduate, VGPS is a student-led group dedicated to taking action against environmental issues on campus. Formed in 2008, VGPS has since organized student assemblies, discussions about environmental issues, various clean-up projects and other campus events.
“We started in February 2008. Several of us were passionate about doing something to get our campus involved and see what we could do to improve environmental practices,” says Oliver. “We organized an Earth Day event and had a petition with approximately 400 signatures from faculty and students pledging that they were serious about the environment.”
Looking for ways to accomplish their goals and spread the message of VGPS, Oliver learned of the Berrien County School Recycling Grant the following school year. The grant was designed to provide schools with monetary support for waste reduction and recycling projects. It could be used to purchase recycling equipment and supplies to carry out projects involving the 4 R’s: reducing, reusing, recycling and/or re-buying.
“We wanted to get the University going in a direction of better environmental practices and one of the most basic ways to do that would be to have recycling on campus,” says Oliver. “The grant was a great tool to help us reach those goals.”
Hoping to provide the dormitories with recycling bins and trash dumpsters, the VGPS decided to apply for the grant with the support of the administration and provost. In the end, they received even more funding than expected.
“We chose the dorms because they are a large concentration of campus and the heart of the campus is the students. We hope that students will leave this place being used to recycling. Maybe they can continue doing that throughout their lives later on and in their families,” says Oliver.
“We think this will raise the profile of environmental efforts at Andrews given the central role that the Administration Building plays on campus,” says Tom Goodwin, VGPS faculty sponsor. “In my judgment, the VGPS has been the most effective ‘voice’ for environmental awareness I’ve ever seen on campus (and I came 15 years ago). They’ve moved beyond raising awareness to initiating concrete action. The recycling program in the dorms initiated last year, followed by this year’s project in the Ad Building, illustrates that action most clearly.”
To learn more about the VGPS and find out how you can become a club member, visit www.andrews.edu/services/studentlife/clubs/clubpages/village-green-presen. The society also has a Facebook page available to the public.