Give them your trash, and maybe you'll win a prize.
This week, SOU students have a chance to bring chip bags, CD cases, bottle caps and other plastic trash to the SOU plastic round-up in order to enter a raffle and protect the environment. Students will host a plastic round up Monday 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., Tuesday and Wednesday 12 p.m. to 2 p.m., and Thursday 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Each of these days there will be a chicken wire bin outside the Stevenson Union. Students are encouraged to drop off at least a grocery bag of plastic trash with any of the following: cups, straws, shrink-wrap, grocery bags, and shampoo bottles.
�People don�t realize how much plastic they use until they start saving it,� said Misty Munoz, a freshman in environmental studies.
Before the school year began, Munoz read about the Jackson County roundup and she was inspired to plan the SOU version. Munoz began an internship with the Oregon Student Public Interest Research Group that allowed her to organize the event. Last week, Munoz and student volunteers reminded students about the round up asking them to sign a petition for more recycling receptacles to be placed throughout the campus.
Munoz was pleased with the support. She collected more than 100 signatures, with her goal at 300.
�Without individual participation, we are going to get nowhere�our president�s not going to shuffle through our trash,� Munoz said.
Students who drop off their plastic can also enter the raffle. Winners will be awarded prizes Thursday at noon from places such as: Wiley�s World, Standing Stone Brewery, Great American Pizza, Co. and the campus coffee shops. Faculty members are also encouraged to bring in their plastic.
Eric Dittmer, Associate Professor in Environmental Studies, has set a few plastic tubs aside for this week�s roundup.
�This is one of those proactive efforts to make people think about throwing any plastic away,� he said.
Munoz agrees. She says the project is about switching to sustainable products to reduce and eliminate unnecessary plastic waste. To do this, she suggests buying products in bulk and using reusable water bottles and coffee mugs.
�You can get these things for cheaper and reduce plastic consumption,� she said. �It�s not just for the environment. It�s for ourselves.�
�Schools and businesses throughout Southern Oregon will also be participating in the first Jackson County roundup said Risa Buck, Waste Reduction Educator for Ashland Sanitary & Recycling. There will be three main drop-off locations, OSU Extension Service, Valley View Transfer Station and Rogue Disposal Transfer Station.
Stations will be open Nov. 14 and 15 from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Collected plastic waste will be transferred to Agri-Plas Inc. in Brooks, Ore. The recycled plastic will be used to make material like plastic lumber, railroad ties, polyfil fiber, garden tools and automobile trim parts.
For information on acceptable items, visit www.jcrecycle.org .