High school students from throughout the Ottawa County area proposed a solution to help Grand Valley’s Meijer Campus in Holland increase participation in its recycling program.
The students participated in IChallengeU, a two-week program designed for 11th- and 12th-graders to work directly with business partners to develop solutions to real-life challenges. ICU is administered by the Ottawa Area Intermediate School District.
The ICU students gave a presentation July 23 at the Meijer Campus. Lisa Miller, director of the Meijer Campus, said they not only addressed the recycling challenge but went beyond. The problem presented to students was to increase participation in the campus’ triple bottom-line recycling program, and reduce waste contamination among guests and one-time users of the Meijer Campus.
“Their solution focused on telling why our program works, and its benefits,” Miller said. “We now have beautiful posters to place above our existing recycling hubs. The students also developed a prototype of a portable recycling hub with larger bins, better signage, spaces designed for pizza boxes and a bin for liquids.”
The Meijer Campus has made a commitment to sustainability and has initiated a triple bottom-line recycling program (social, economic and environmental) that involves Holland’s New Life Recycling Center, part of the Holland Rescue Mission. Materials from the campus are sorted as part of the mission’s job training program, and profits are used to support the mission.