Hamilton Hustles to Recycle

Unopened food collected through Cram-and-Scram will be donated to Clark Mills Food Pantry.
Unopened food collected through Cram-and-Scram will be donated to Clark Mills Food Pantry.

Hamilton College is conducting its first "Ham's Cram & Scram" from May 14-24. The project is designed to reduce the College's end-of-year waste by recycling and reusing items that would typically be thrown out at the end of the academic year.

"We average about 75 to 80 tons of waste every month, and that number jumps to around 140 tons in May," says Terry Hawkridge, assistant director of grounds, horticulture and arboretum at the College. "Our goal is to reduce the waste in May to less than 100 tons."

Hawkridge first got the idea for "Cram & Scram" through a webinar, or web seminar, made possible by Recyclemania.

"This is something that we've wanted to do before, but we needed to work some things out, like staffing the project," says Hawkridge. "We looked at how other colleges have done it and went from there. Brian Hansen, (Hamilton's Director of Environmental Protection, Safety and Sustainability), has been a great leader for us in this project."

Ham & Cram's base of operations will be Emerson Hall (ELS) and its parking lot. The parking lot will be closed from May 14-24 for this project.

Thirty students will be collecting recyclable/reusable items in clear bags from residence halls. Excess clothing will be taken to The Salvation Army, bedding will go to the Stevens-Swan Humane Society of Oneida County, food will go to the Clarks Mills Food Pantry and books, other paper, containers and the like will be recycled at the Oneida-Herkimer Solid Waste Authority.

Clear bags will be available in the residence hall lounges and from custodians. Gray bags should be used for ordinary trash.

Reusable items such as furniture and appliances will be stored over the summer and sold at a tent sale on the Hamilton campus from August 26-27, two days before the start of fall classes. Money from the sale will be used to offset staffing expenses of the project. All money derived from the project will be put back into the College, either through staffing expenses or increased budget for the Student Assembly.

"Ham's Cram & Scram" is intended to be an annual event.

For more information, contact Hawkridge at 315-859-4075 or Hansen at 315-859-4647. 

-- by Bob Healy

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