Ok, we all know that Texas Christian University fulfilled a dream last winter and beat Wisconsin in the Rose Bowl. I’m a Cheesehead by birth, so you don’t have to remind me. But TCU is going for a championship season in another contact sport- recycling.
The university recently rolled out 4 Dream Machines– the PepsiCo branded Greenopolis Recycling Kiosks – on their campus to collect aluminum cans and PET bottles. The Dream Machine recycling initiative, a collaboration between PepsiCo, Waste Management, Keep America Beautiful and Greenopolis – is introducing thousands of recycling kiosks and bins at high-traffic, public locations around the country to help increase the U.S. beverage container recycling rate by giving Americans convenient access to recycling receptacles. The campus is home during the school year to around 10,000 students, so you can imagine the number of soft drinks consumed and the need to recycle.
The TCU campus has been doing a lot of recycling already- like green waste collection for mulch and bedding. And when they renovated their football stadium recently, they worked hard to recycle materials for the multimillion dollar makeover. The school is offering sustainability classes in their degree programs, and students there, particularly in their Environmental club have been on Greenopolis site a lot. The students brought the idea of placing Dream Machines to the faculty, particularly Dr. Keith Whitworth and Wendy Macias last fall. A presentation was made to a few faculty members, physical plant personnel and a group of 30-40 students. The students were enthusiastic and really drove the process forward, according to John Klaiber, the WM representative who oversaw the project.
The university has a ‘look’ to its campus, and one question they asked was “Does DM fit TCU’s aesthetics?” Apparently it does, and I think you’ll agree the blue Dream machines look right at home in TCU’s décor. The machine pictured here is in the student recreation center- there are 3 more around campus-in residence halls and other places on campus.
In addition to the Dream Machines, TCU has placed 25-30 static bins around campus- 2 per floor in each dorm. Unlike the Dream Machine, there is no opportunity to scan or earn points; the bins are there for convenience and to help students do the right thing anyway…
The 1st Dream Machine at a residence hall was filled within 24 hours. The Dream Machine at the ribbon cutting opening ceremony filled up during the ceremony as everybody tried the innovative technology.
“We’re thrilled at the arrival of the Dream Machines on campus,” said Keith Whitworth, sociology instructor and proponent of TCU’s sustainability efforts. “This was a student-led initiative, and it took a lot of hard work to get them here, and I can’t wait to see what the response will be.”Dr. Whitworth emptied the Dream Machine at the ribbon cutting ceremony and took the first bag of valuable recyclables to the WM recycling container at TCU.
TCU can be proud to stand for values-centered education, great college football, and world class recycling systems.