Committee involvement is an important component of establishing and maintaining a campus recycling effort. Establishing campus committees to address waste, resource consumption, campus sustainability, climate action plans and other environmental issues can be valuable in many ways. These committees can work to create and implement action plans, advocate and offer other support, and generate funding for college recycling programs.
Committees are an effective way to garner support for campus-wide environmental policies, sustainability guidelines, and other waste reduction/resource conservation efforts. Additionally, these committees play a valuable role in educating and involving the campus community. Many schools are forming committees to deal with recycling, waste management, resource conservation and environmental issues.
Official college committees are typically created by the president's office and require faculty, staff, and administrative participation. Some schools include students on these committees as well.
There are also opportunities to create internal or informal committees that are not necessarily sanctioned by a college president. The ones sanctioned by a college typically have chain of command, a formal structure of membership, and a charter. Additionally, these committees have reporting requirements. Informal committees can be just as effective in making recommendations and supporting campus environmental stewardship. The key is to involve influential, dedicated contributors.
In addition to college recycling committees, it is worthwhile for a recycling program to be represented on city, county, state, and national levels and within professional committees that deal with waste management and college operations. Check within the local area to identify committees that exist to address these issues. As a college, it is important to be represented within these committees.
Government or policy related committees will provide current information and updates on laws, operations, changes, future plans, etc. that could affect the way in which a college recycling program is operated. Professional types of committees provide an opportunity to network and partner with other professionals. All of these committees help a college recycling program gain visibility, take an active role in waste management, help stimulate recycling practices in the greater community, and provide access to resources and networking, all which enhance a college recycling effort. All of these committees also give a recycling program a chance to be represented and open the door to influences beyond the campus community.