Warren Wilson College Recycling Crew History

Warren Wilson College's waste management program began in 1982 with one student who was concerned about the campus waste stream. This concern fueled a program called GAIN--Glass Aluminum Including Newspaper--and resulted in a 10% reduction in waste during its first year. In 1987, following a model developed by urban communities, students in an environmental policy class created a Solid Waste Management Plan that was subsequently adopted by the College. The centerpiece of the Plan was the creation of a Waste Management Crew (incorporating the existing trash collection crew and the GAIN recycling crew), thus integrating the academic plan of action into the school's work program. Today, a crew of 18-25 students is responsible for collecting and managing over 45 recyclable materials, operating a FreeStore and WoodShop, composting campus food waste, disposing of solid waste, researching and implementing new waste reduction programs, and educating the campus about waste-related issues.