AMHERST, Mass. (WWLP) - Donning hazmat suits, dozens of UMass students helped make their campus more sustainable on Monday.
Self-appointed "Eco-Reps" sifted through several trash bags from various campus residence halls, in an effort to find recyclable items and compost. The project was championed by the Campus Sustainability Initiative , which sponsors student-run "Eco-Rep" classes throughout the flagship campus.
Campus Sustainability Manager, Ezra Small, told 22News students sifted through trash from one dozen garbage toters, belonging to different dorm rooms around campus. Small says the program fosters a sense of ownership as students become more aware of waste reduction and responsible consumerism.
Nick Chmura, a UMass senior studying natural resource conservation, told 22News that students who walked by their site were very curious.
"I'm wearing a Tyvek hazard suit with some gloves, and it's been sticky and smelly and nasty, and a lot of surprises, but it's not too bad," Chmura said.
"We got a pretty good pile, a lot of it is mostly trash, but we got some compost out of it, which is good. And a lot of it is just bottles people threw away and didn't recycle."
65 students take part in the "Eco-Rep" classes and provide peer-to-peer facilitation. The items collected will be recycled and used for compost.