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Going green on campus could help students see green

Recycling will soon be a way for students to make some extra cash.

Undergraduate Student Government is working with Aluminum Can Bank of America, recycling machine manufacturer in Columbus, to provide a reverse vending machine for recycling in the South Campus Gateway.

“We are extremely excited that we are helping to bring this machine to campus. It will make our campus more environmentally sustainable and safer while also giving students an opportunity to save some money,” USG president Micah Kamrass said.

The machine will pay the recycler per can, said Bernie Senser, co-owner of Aluminum Can Bank of America and Cyclemet, Inc., a recycling center on Harrison Road. A prototype of the machine is at Cyclemet.

The price of the can will vary because it is market driven, according to Sandy Senser, co-owner of Aluminum Can Bank of America and chief financial officer.

The machine is scheduled to be up and running by Sept. 1, Kamrass said.

When students bring their cans to the machine to be recycled, they will have the option of receiving money or donating toward a scholarship, Kamrass said. The scholarship will go toward the tuition of a student who demonstrates a commitment to environmental sustainability, the details of which have not been finalized.

The machine will be 12 feet tall by 8 feet wide and will be in the shape of a cylinder, similar to an aluminum can, Bernie said.

“Instead of throwing your cans on the street you can put it in the machine and get cash,” Sandy said.

Chief of Ohio State Police, Paul Denton, said he thought the recycling machine will “promote community ownership of the issue.”

“Students can take an active role of keeping their property free of trash,” Denton said. “It’s far more formal and managed than having the scrappers come through the area. It promotes the image of a residential neighborhood.”

The goal is to put several machines on different areas of campus and possibly all over the city, depending on how well the machine does, Bernie said.

“This really promotes recycling. … If they don’t care about the money, they can donate that revenue,” Bernie said, “To my knowledge there’s no other machine that pays cash.”

Aluminum Can Bank of America is not charging the university for the machine, Sandy said. It will be selling advertising to pay for costs such as maintenance and operations. Although advertisers have not yet been found, the ads will be banners on the sides of the machine, Sandy said.

“We’re really excited about moving forward with this,” said Brad Pyle, USG vice president.

“I think it’s a good idea,” said Kayla Rose, a fourth-year in strategic communications. “I think that more students would be more apt to recycle because college students are always in need of a little money here and there.”

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