Company pays for bins, gives committee budget

Signal Campus offers $300 per month for ad space on recycling

By Benjamin Bassham, Staff Writer

The Sustainability Committee is getting its first real budget, through a deal with Signal Campus, who will pay for the privilege of placing recycling bins around campus.

Buildings and Grounds Manager Bruce King said the advertising company Signal Campus approached with an offer to pay Contra Costa College $300 per month to place six recycle bins on the grounds.

Signal Campus makes their money back on the deal by selling advertising space on the recycling bins. King said recycling services have been lacking and funding is always tight, so the district Governing Board approved the contract in November to run for five years until Sept. 30, 2020.

King said the Sustainability Committee has always scraped by on occasional grants and charity, with King sometimes paying out of his own pocket.

The Sustainability Committee has been responsible for overseeing Arbor Day, Bike Day and Earth Day events on campus. It also handled the installation of bike racks, and even convinced the college to install a well to tap groundwater to irrigate the athletic fields.

Technology Systems Manager James Eyestone, who was formerly on the Sustainability Committee, said, “There’s an incredible amount of creative thinking about funding. (But) there are not a lot of problems you can solve with zero dollars.”

On Sept. 15, King and Custodial Services Manager Darlene Poe asked the Operations Council to allocate the profit from the deal to give to the Sustainability Committee, and the Operations Council members voted it so.

The committee will take responsibility for the recycling program and its proceeds. The bins will have three slots for plastic, glass and cans. 

King said, “The recyclables have some value, and some people make the effort to collect them. This will make that collection easier (and cleaner).” 

Academic Senate President Beth Goehring, who is on the Operations Council, said the revenue from the recyclables would be insignificant to the college so community members will still be free to take them as before.

He said he hopes to install the bins by the end of the year, so they will be ready by the spring 2016 semester.  

The idea is to place the six bins where people eat, King said. Two at the Applied Arts Building, one at the lower entrance, one by the Three Seasons Restaurant, one near the Bookstore, one in the Gym Annex, one at the Student Services Center and one at the Library and Learning Resource Center.

The one near the temporary Bookstore will be moved when the Campus Center is ready next fall.

Signal Campus has similar arrangements with over 100 other colleges and universities, but CCC is the first locally, he said.

“Now that we have a budget,” Poe said, “we will be able to start using it to get things done instead of sitting around a table at 7 a.m. and talking about all the sustainability projects we would like to see on campus.” 

King said, “It finally does give us a little bit of a budget. We can be a little more proactive.”