From trash to treasure

9

Jeffry Tupa

The Signal Staff
Recyclable items lay on tables for faculty and staff to view outside the Office of Procurement and Payables at UHCL.
Recyclable items lay on tables for faculty and staff to view outside the Office of Procurement and Payables at UHCL.

The Office of Procurement and Payables provided a recycle day for faculty and staff Oct. 13 as a way to redistribute unused items in offices and promote recycling efforts on campus.

On the second Tuesday of the month, about every two or three months, a recycle day is held. Recyclable items include folders, binders, adding machines, letter trays, stacking trays, computer software, printer cartridges and office furniture.

“About 12 or 13 years ago, the head of the department decided that we should start a recycling program,” said Jeanne Cumpian, director of procurement. “The recycling program does not receive funding for its recycle efforts, but it is part of what we want to contribute to the recycling program that state has.”

On recycle days, faculty and staff can go out into the hallway in front of the OPP to browse and pick up recycled office supplies and furniture.

“We approximately had 45 faculty and staff members who picked up items,” said Alicia Gookin, staff assistant for OPP about the latest event.  “We had quite a few other departments that brought office supplies that were no longer needed by the department and was dropped off. Recycle day is good for the environment because we are not disposing of it in our trash.”

Recyclable items lay on tables for faculty and staff to view outside the Office of Procurement and Payables at UHCL.
Recyclable items lay on tables for faculty and staff to view outside the Office of Procurement and Payables at UHCL.

Gookin points out that recycle days are essential in saving departments money. When one department no longer has a use for an item, another department may use it instead of purchasing a brand new one.

“It was great, there were a couple products that we used and at any other time we would have had to purchase,” said Dmitri Melendez, printing technician.

Recycle day varies in the kinds of office supplies and furniture that faculty and staff donate.

“The first year I worked in my suite, I contributed a number of un-needed but useful items to the event when I was reorganizing my office,” said Leigh Ann Shelfer, faculty suite secretary of School of Human Sciences and Humanities. “Some of the items that were donated each year are ‘past their prime,’ such as worn or damaged binders, a broken space heater, old software or software manuals, but for the most part, there are useful items. The best items are snatched up early, like at a garage sale.”

Gabrielle Rodriguez, a library associate, has some new ideas to help promote future recycle days.

“For future recycle days, I think it would be nice to have a small display of contributed pictures of how the newly found items were creatively used,” Rodriguez said.  “For example, I noticed there were a lot of old unused floppy disks.  I didn’t think about it then, but a few of them could have been repurposed to make a box to hold your pens.”

Terri Culbert, suite secretary of HSH, has gone to the last three recycling events and brought back many items not only for her office but also for other professors who work in her department.

“I enjoy all the recycling days,” Culbert said. “I was able to get a nice conference table from one of them, which met our office’s needs very nicely. We use it for lunch, to get together and to talk and share ideas. We also use it for our meetings when we need to be able to get together.”

Culbert said that the recycling day also provides a good networking opportunity for people to meet from different departments.

“It’s a great program and I hope it continues,” Culbert said. “I would like us to move forward with more recycling programs at the university.”

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