IVC plans to model recycling center after OCC


Melissa Conser

In spring of 2009, IVC’s Green Team Alliance proposed that a recycling center be built on campus. 
GTA plans to use the center as a means of reusing recyclables, normally thrown away, as a source of revenue to create more courses at IVC focussing exclusively on environmentalism.

Eric Nolan, President of GTA, hopes that the effort to make IVC more environmentally friendly will have a ripple effect on the district, ultimately leading to on-campus farmer’s markets, composts for each school, and LEED certified buildings.

Nolan said that the BST building at IVC could easily be made LEED certified.  “It’s based on a points system.  If they just added some solar panels and made a few changes.”
IVC isn’t the only campus working toward an environmentally efficient campus.  ATEP, the district’s newest addition, has all LEED certified buildings (see Casie Nguyen’s story, “ATEP a `green’ efficient school”). 

At Saddleback, ASG’s Go Green Committee is a strong supporter of GTA’s push to get a recycling center.  As of Monday Oct. 19, the GGC has plans to start a compost operation and a farmer’s market.
While the recycling center is still an unrealized dream with no definite construction plans  or deadline, it’s- no less- a feasible idea. 

Orange Coast College has had enormous success with their recycling center.  It began as a recycling drive on the first ever Earth Day in 1970, in attendance to the drive was Ralph Nader and Gaylord Nelson, founders of Earth Day.

A tour of OCC’s recycling center during a GTA outing was all it took to convince Nolan and the other original member’s of GTA- Richa Pandey, Keith Hough, Laquann Moore and Eugene Sultan- that IVC needed one as well.

“Each day OCC’s Recycling Center collects 1,500 pounds of plastic and a ton of newspapers. OCC Recycling Center Coordinator Mike Carey estimates that the center collects 4,000 tons of material each month,” said an article on OCC’s website, titled “OCC Recycling Center helps keep campus green.”

“The Associated Students of Orange Coast College (ASOCC) took in $250,000 in profit at the close of the 2007-2008 school year. The student organization directs the funds to a variety of programs, including student scholarships, the OCC Tutorial Center, the new library, and a wide variety of campus activities such as Fiesta Latina.”

In addition to the recycling OCC practices other green efficient strategies.

“Instead of hauling 50 dumpsters of green waste to a landfill during the year, OCC uses a grinder to make mulch for landscaping on the 164-acre campus. For the past 15 years, OCC has also irrigated landscaping using reclaimed water.”

Even the `plastic’ tableware and `paper’ plates in OCC’s cafeteria are environmentally friendly. The knives, forks and spoons are made from potatoes, while the plates come from sugar cane. Unlike their plastic and paper counterparts, OCC’s disposables can be composted.”

IVC’s GTA also arranges trips to environmentally friendly places like: the Irvine Ranch Water District (a water treatment center), a tour of homes powered by solar panels, and more.  “Initially, the tours will be independent club events put on by the Green Team Alliance,” said GTA’s website, ivcgreenteam.com.  “Finally and ideally, the tours would be written into course syllabi as field-trips.  These field trips would be efficient, as one trip would fulfill course material of several classes.”

A series of broadcasts headed by member, Bianka Ashikian, will “educate and notify the public of upcoming events which the GTA will be hosting or attending and will provide information and encouragement on ways to become involved with the community in conserving the environment,” the website said.

“Regular weekly or monthly broadcasts on the IVC channel,” channel 33 in Irvine, will be 14 minutes and 52 seconds and “will create both opportunities for students whom are looking ahead in their educational path in the media and an excellent opportunity to educate the community about environmental issues in the world and in our own communities by providing information and possible solutions for these current issues.”

With recent state-wide budget cuts, Nolan realizes that these pla
ns require generous funding and  may be put off until more funding is available. 

But GTA is not to be discouraged, “we’re gearing up for the next wave,” said Nolan. 

He hopes that in the near future the economy will turn around and when it does Nolan and other GTA members will be waiting with the blue prints to change the campus for the better.
In the mean time, donations are welcome and can be made on GTA’s website, ivcgreenteam.com/blog.  A few unnamed IVC instructors have all ready donated to GTA’s efforts. 

Nolan hopes to establish partnerships with the city of Irvine or the Edison Co., to further funding initiatives and get plans in motion.

When asked how he predicts GTA will impact the future of IVC and surrounding communities, Nolan said “spread wealth, spread knowledge…education.  See if we can pull this world together and make it a better place.”


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