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HCC students dig through garbage during Earth Week

April 17, 2007|by DAN DEARTH

HAGERSTOWN - A handful of students at Hagerstown Community College donned latex gloves and dug through garbage Monday to raise awareness about the importance of recycling.

The activity was part of Earth Week, an event that focuses on environmental issues, said Mylynh Nguyen, adviser of the college's Science Club.

Earth Week began Sunday and continues to April 22.

Nguyen said seven volunteers randomly surveyed garbage from 10 trash cans on campus to get a rough idea of how many recyclables people throw away.

Nine of those trash cans were indoors and contained from 67 percent to 80 percent of recyclable materials, while the one trash can that they emptied outdoors held about 33 percent, she said.

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"I hope that through our education initiatives, the campus community will become more conscious of how much waste they produce," Nguyen said. "The Science Club's goal is to lead our campus community in helping to make our planet more sustainable, one small step at a time."

The group discovered that some of the college's employees already felt the same way.

Emily Hollins, an enrollment assistant at the college, recently started her own recycling program in the Admission & Registration Building.

"I just feel bad throwing things away," she said. "I just decided to take things into my own hands. It makes more sense to recycle than put things in a landfill."

Nguyen said the Science Club would like to use the trash audit as a stepping stone to start a recycling program on campus.

Faculty and students are encouraged to drop off their recyclables in containers that the club has set up this week in the Science Building's lobby, she said. The deadline to do so is 3 p.m. Friday.

Freshman Ethan Lord said he participated in Monday's trash audit because people aren't doing enough to recycle.

"I want to bring it to their attention," he said.

Sophomore Bobby Group agreed.

"It's a good cause," he said. "I'm willing to help them out."

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