Center Spotlight: Denison Job Corps Center
Published: March 12, 2010 | 3:28 PM
The Denison Job Corps Center has generated so much attention for its commitment to recycling that a waste management association has requested to hold part of its statewide training meeting on center.
Members of the Iowa Society of Solid Waste Management will be at the Denison Job Corps Center on March 30 to learn more about the center's recycling efforts and to tour the facility.
The interest shows that "Be a Green Hero, Not a Green Zero," the newly adopted motto for its recycling program, is a lot more than a catchy phrase on a T-shirt – it's fast becoming a center philosophy that's being put into action and recognized within the community.
Students and staff members have been very busy over the past several months implementing programs and making the necessary changes to become a more environmentally conscious campus.
One recent major initiative was a center-wide competition aimed at increasing recycling and raising awareness among students and staff, who were divided into six teams of equal size.
Prior to the kickoff of the competition, the Denison Welding students retrofitted a large trailer into a recycling center with three compartments: one for cardboard boxes, one for paper, and one for glass, metal, and plastic.
Teams were encouraged to fill up at least one trash bag's worth of recyclables each week and bring them to a recycling trailer marked with their team's color-coded plastic tie. Each time the recycling trailer was emptied by the maintenance staff, the Denison JCC Impact Innovations Coordinator tallied up the total number of bags recycled by each team.
At the end of the contest, the center had recycled a total of 20,320 pounds during a six-month period. All teams recycled at least one bag per week to receive a free T-shirt, and the winning team was rewarded with a special outing to a local park.
"It was so exciting to see how much we were able to recycle over the span of the entire competition," said Denison Job Corps student Terri Hetrick. "Imagine how much waste we could reduce as a country if everyone committed to filling up at least one trash bag's worth of recyclables per week. I'm proud to be a part of Job Corps' green efforts and want to do my part to help raise environmental awareness."
For Denison Job Corps students and staff, "Reduce, Reuse and Recycle" has become second nature. The Welding students are already in the process of building a second recycling trailer that will be located next to the dorms, and the center kicked off another recycling competition on Feb. 10 that now challenges the six teams to fill at least five trash bags of recyclables per week. Keep up the great work, Denison!
Denison students and staff members are also implementing several other ARRA initiatives on center in addition to their impressive recycling efforts. Some of these projects include:
- An organic garden that was planted and harvested by the Culinary Arts students.
- The installation of low-flow toilets, showerheads, and faucets in the dormitories.
- The order and purchase of three four-wheel-drive electric vehicles.
- The installation of more energy-efficient light bulbs, HVAC units, and windows.
- The replacement of a steamer in the cafeteria with an Energy-Star-rated appliance.
- The purchase of recycled materials such as toilet paper, Kleenex tissues, printer toner, cornstarch eating utensils and recycled copy machine paper.
- The implementation of green TARs in the Bricklaying, Carpentry, Facilities Maintenance, Painting and Welding career technical training areas.
- The education of staff and students on energy-saving practices such as turning off lights in unoccupied areas and unplugging electronic appliances when not in use.
- The implementation of a green-focused Resources Committee on center that has one representative from each dorm.
Special note – Denison JCC was one of two Chicago Region Earth Day Every Day Demand-side Management Award winners.
If you have news to share about your center and want to be featured in a center spotlight, please e-mail OJC.ARRA@DOL.GOV.