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Seniors Launch Class Project -- Recycle MIT

Nicole A. Sherry
Staff Reporter

This year's senior project, "Recycle MIT," will install receptacles for newspaper, and aluminum, plastic, and glass containers across the Institute and provide financial support to make sure the trash is brought to a recycling center.

"MIT has bins outside Lobdell and Walker but nothing inside the Institute. People are often walking down the Infinite Corridor with a can of soda and there is nowhere for them to put it," said Reshma P. Patel '93, senior class president.

The recycling bins will be made of hard plastic resembling black granite inscribed with the words "Class of 1993" and the triangular recycling symbol. This design was chosen in part to comply with the administration's wish that the recepticles preserve the beauty of Lobby 10 and Lobby 7.

There will be two bins at each location: one for newspaper and one for aluminum cans and glass and plastic bottles.

The committee choosing the senior project was selected last October by members of the Alumni Association and Patel. The committee conducted two surveys and posted a flame sheets last semester to gather suggestions from seniors as to what the project should be. The committee investigated options for implementing the top ten choices.

The most frequently proposed project was the construction of outdoor basketball courts. Other ideas included outside gardens and new lights in Killian Court. "Recycle MIT" was chosen because it was popular, useful, and practical.

The recycling project was also favored because it can be initiated immediately. Because the receptacles, each costing approximately $550, are purchased individually, the project can begin by the end of the semester and more bins can be added as more money is raised.

The money for the senior project will come from contributions made by members of the graduating class. The committee offers several different pledge options which allow payment over five years with pledges that increase in increments of about $10 each year. These plans range from the "Starving Grad Plan," which starts with a donation of $19.93 in the first year, to the "Rising Star," which starts with a contribution of $50.

The seniors, however, do not have to follow the guidelines of the committee in making their donations but can give as little or as much as they choose. Also, they do not have to give to the senior project but can contribute to a cause of their choice, like financial aid or athletics.

Donations and pledges already made by the committee and senior class council total about $4000 for "Recycle MIT," and Kathleen Lieuw Kie Song '93, who chairs the committee. The overall goal is to raise $50,000, but, she said, "the highest amount raised in the last ten years is only $33,000, so if we get $40,000 we'll be very happy."

Lieuw Kie Song also emphasized the committee's goal of getting a high participation rate among seniors. "In the past it's been between 15 and 20 percent. We really hope we get 30 percent," she said. Additional funding will go to a financial aid scholarship.

Although many seniors have not yet heard of the senior project, reactions from those who have seem positive.

"I think it's a great idea except I am a little cynical about whether it will work out and people will put things in the right container. But I am proud of the idea," said Sarah L. Wheeler '93.

"I think it is a pretty creative idea except each bin seems a little expensive. But we're giving something that is going to be used," said Candy L. Obert '93.