Sustainable Farming

A new initiative has Scripps College cultivating a unique cash crop – cardboard.

The huge bales are the end result of a recently purchased cardboard baler located behind Malott Commons and a pilot recycling program inside residence halls started by Scripps Associated Students (SAS) and the facilities department.

“Student participation is at the heart of this program’s success,” says Julia Howard ’14, SAS Sustainability Chair. “It demonstrates that such sustainable measures are important to Scripps students and that they want to see green measures implemented at the College.”

The program launched in Kimberly Hall with 50 active participants. Students use a special bin in their room for paper recycling; when it’s full, the waste is taken to the baler and compressed into enormous blocks. Standing next to the blocks, you can’t help but be impressed.

“The goal is to bring students on board and encourage them to take a hand in the recycling process,” adds Julia. “It really is a community effort.”

The  entrepreneurial initiative is a great step towards raising the Scripps community’s awareness of its waste and recycling responsibilities. For each bale of paper product produced, the College gets back a significant amount of money which is then cycled back into the school’s sustainability budget. Once the paper recycling program is implemented in  every Scripps residence hall, it may even create some student work positions.

Julia and Director of Campus Facilities Niel Errickson are pleased with the results so far,  and  envision a campus-wide program. Says Julia: “We hope to get faculty and staff on board as well!”