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April 22. 2014 8:13PM

Keene State celebrates Earth Day with trash audit

Keene State College Eco-Reps Kelly Marchione and Kim Christel hold up trash bags of aluminum cans and plastics bottles found in residential hall trash Tuesday as part the annual Keene State College Earth Day Trash Audit. (MEGHAN PIERCE)

A bin full of glass bottles pulled from campus residential hall trash cans is seen at the Keene State College Earth Day Trash Audit Tuesday afternoon. MEGHAN PIERCE 

KEENE — Green-minded Keene State College students celebrated Earth Day on Tuesday by digging through campus trash for the annual Earth Day Trash Audit in front of the Young Student Center.

The Keene State Eco-Reps along with ROCKS — Recycling On Campus At Keene State — conducted the audit of trash taken from four different residential halls on campus Tuesday morning.

At the end of the audit the students determined that 50 percent of the trash was recyclable; including a large percentage of aluminum cans and plastic and glass bottles.

"I don't know why so many bottles and cans don't get recycled," Keene State senior and Eco-Rep Kim Christel said. "Especially when our school makes it very easy cause we have trash bins and recycle bins right next to each other. So when you go to take out all of your trash it's very easy to sort."

Mary Jensen, Keene State College Campus Sustainability Officer, said the audit is held in the center of campus to show students how much of what is thrown away can be recycled.

"We try to make this really visible because a lot of what we do on campus is not really obvious," Jensen said, from shower heads and toilets that use less water, to electric vehicles used on campus and environmentally friendly lawn products used on the grounds.

Last week, the college was again named One of the Country's Greenest Schools by Princeton Review and U.S. Green Building Council as one of 330 "Green Colleges" in the U.S.

Keene State has been included in list every year, since the selections began in 2010.

Some of the college's sustainability accomplishments include the installation of solar panels on the 2012 built Technology, Design and Safety Center to help achieve LEED Platinum certification and significantly cutting food waste by donating instead of throwing food away.

"We have a really active recycling program here that uses student workers," Jensen said.

Expanding on what they already do, Jensen said, the college is working to find a facility that could take its compost waste.

The Earth Day Trash Audit is the kickoff of several events this week at the college aimed at getting students involved in sustainability, an ongoing mission at the school since 1996.


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