After two weeks of deliberation, the Student Fee Committee of the Associated Students of Southern Oregon University has granted $23,000 to the Ecology Center of the Siskiyous toward the construction of a recycling center on campus.
“It’s an accomplishment,” said Misty Munoz, a member of ECOS. “It’s adding to all the work that has gone into this project. The idea is for [the recycling center] to be an example for other people to come and learn from it.”
For the past two weeks, the SFC has been hearing requests for a $29,000 refund SOU received from the Bonneville Environmental Foundation, a non-profit organization that sells carbon offsets to the university.
Although the refund was for $29,000, the SFC only allocated $23,000 because the university did not know exactly how much the refund would be.
The BEF saves 20 percent of the revenue from the university’s purchase of RECs and gives it back to the university to be used in sustainability projects. The $29,000 is the first refund the school has received.
Two requests were filed with the SFC, one by Shaun Franks for the construction of a green roof on the top of the Stevenson Union, and another by ECOS to fund a recycling center on campus.
“The green roof is intriguing,” said Doug Gentry, an Economics professor and faculty advisor to the SFC. “But it’s not like people are going to be going up there. It doesn’t have the same visibility.”
“I think this is a better match, size wise,” he said, referring to the fact that it would cost an estimated $160,000 to put a green roof on top of the Stevenson Union, while the recycling center would only cost approximately $27,000.
The recycling center will be housed in a warehouse on Wightman Street, behind the Campus Public Safety building.
The building will be remodeled to accommodate the recycling center, adding stainless steel sinks, laminate countertops, as well as heating and insulation.
The center will be staffed by two permanent Student Assistant Employees and a full time Recycling Coordinator.
ECOS hopes to have the recycling center up and running by September, before Fall term starts.
“Nobody knew about the BEF money until we started looking for a place to put the recycling center,” said Munoz. “That’s why the BEF funding came to the SFC, because of what we did.”
“Students pay money to be at the university,” said Munoz. “We spend about $68,000 a year to deal with waste. Instead of throwing their money away, they can take pride in knowing where their money is going. They’re turning their trash dollars into sustainable dollars.”