Where did those new benches come from?

Although it may be difficult to encourage college students to recycle on campus, this may get easier with the university’s two new environment-friendly additions that are made out of recycled milk jugs.

The new benches in Heide Hall and garbage bins in the University Center are all made out of 97 percent pure-recycled plastic. They were manufactured by Max·R, a public furnishings company in Sussex, Wis.

Sophomore James Thelen uses one of the new benches in Heide Hall. Photo by Giovanny Lopez/[email protected]

The benches, which arrived in December and January, are dispersed throughout academic buildings on campus.

“These new benches were distributed throughout the campus,” Jeff Arnold, vice chancellor of administrative affairs, said. “Some of the academic buildings had benches, others didn’t, and in many areas where there weren’t benches, students would be sitting on the floor in the hallways.”

Along with the new benches are new garbage bins in the UC.

“The thought was geared to encourage our efforts to recycle on campus,” Arnold said.

Despite Gov. Scott Walker’s mandate to eliminate public recycling programs, Arnold thinks in a positive light.

“I think the campus is committed to recycling and sustainability and I think our efforts will continue despite what happens at the state level,” Arnold said.

The funding for the purchase of the benches and recycling bins was provided by campus central reserves, Arnold said.

The drinking fountains in the residence halls are also being upgraded to include the water bottle feature, Arnold said.

“One of the upgraded fountains in the Williams Center has filled over 13,000 bottles since it was installed,” Arnold said. “We have plans to continue the upgrade of the drinking fountains around the campus.”

The university also is participating in a campus-wide relighting project. This is an effort to provide a better campus lighting system, and at the same time save energy costs, Arnold said.

“The new lighting will provide a more natural light and produce an energy savings of around 50% over the existing lighting,” Arnold said.

Arnold said it seems the new environment-friendly additions are becoming beneficial purchases for the campus.

“I’m in Hyer and I see students using them on the second and third floor of Hyer Hall so it seems the benches are being well-received,” Arnold said.

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