Education is one of the most important and challenging elements of the Housing Zero Waste Program. The primary challenge is to present the most appropriate and useful recycling information in the most effective manner. The population of residents in UO Housing is constantly changing. Recycling information needs to be updated and residents need to be re-educated if recycling in Housing areas is going to be a success. Since recycling service depends upon the cooperation of residence hall and apartment complex residents as well as staff working in the Housing kitchens, different education methods are used in order to communicate most effectively.
The most common ways the Housing Zero Waste Program uses to reach students living in the residence halls are through table tents, hall posters, communication with resident student leaders, and promoting the use of in-room recycling bins. Doorhangers, newsletters, welcome packets, tenants' councils, and presentations are all ways that can be used to reach residents living in the family housing complexes. Kitchen presentations, on-site recycling information and the food service recycling guide are the primary mechanisms that are used to educate on-campus kitchen staff.
IN-ROOM RECYCLING BINS & FLYERS
Please refer to information about In-room recycling bins and flyers in the Residence Hall section.
EDUCATING RESIDENCE HALL STAFF
Complex Directors (CD) and Resident Assistants (RA) are leaders in the residence hall community and contribute a great deal to students' experiences and growth while living in the halls. Environmental and recycling education can be seen as an extension of the academic, cultural and social growth that the residence hall community strives to promote. A knowledgeable group of leaders increases the likelihood that their residents will have the "know-how" they need to recycle properly. There are a number of ways that these residence hall leaders can be engaged in educating residents about recycling in the halls. Please see What RAs and CDs Can Do to make a difference. ( CD-RA recycling info.pdf ).
Meeting Residence Hall Leaders
One of the primary steps in engaging residence hall leaders is to take advantages of opportunities to meet these leaders. Some of these opportunities include representing the Housing Recycling Program at orientation sessions and staff trainings. In recent years, 'resource fairs' have been organized by the Housing Programming Staff as a mechanism for introducing new student leaders to different resources on campus. Both are opportunities to promote Housing Recycling both as a service and as an educational resource.
Raffles, recycling freebies and plenty of handouts are excellent ways of introducing residence hall leaders to Campus Recycling. If staff leaders are informed about the possibility of working with the UO Zero Waste Program, there could be more opportunities to increase student involvement and enthusiasm.
Informing and Communicating with Residence Hall Staff
Including recycling information in staff training manuals and resources can be very helpful in informing Complex Directors and Resident Assistants. Memoranda and event announcements can be circulated through electronic mail to all staff members. Having the ability to contact individual RAs can also be very useful. This type of direct communication can be an effective way to address and correct recycling errors or problems that are occurring in specific halls.
Recycling presentations or refreshers are educational tools that benefit the staff groups working in UO Housing kitchens. Presentations are conducted close to the beginning of each academic year and on an as needed basis and benefit both the kitchen staff and the coordinators of Housing Recycling service. Kitchen staff groups gain a good understanding so that recycling becomes easy and convenient. Additionally, the Housing Recycling Coordinator in turn finds out about ways in which recycling collection and service can be improved through kitchen staff input during the presentation.
Here are just a few examples of the benefits of kitchen presentations:
If you are interested in kitchen presentations or recycling refreshers for your area, please contact the Housing Zero Waste Coordinator at (541) 346-0929.
Click HERE to see a Doorhanger
Click HERE to see some table tents
*If interested in developing recycling information in another language, contact the Housing Recycling Coordinator at (541) 346-0929.*
FAMILY HOUSING WELCOME PACKETS
When new residents and their families move into the family housing complexes, they are given welcome packets describing programs and services available to them. A welcome packet is a good, early opportunity to educate new family housing residents about recycling. Typical recycling information that can be found in welcome packets include recycling site maps, detailed descriptions of materials accepted and not accepted for recycling, and preparation tips. If older versions of welcome packets are in circulation, a page with recycling updates can be inserted into packets so that residents can be current on recycling guidelines.
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