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‘Recycle Right’ signs appear across campus

The placards are part of a months long sustainability awareness initiative by a Durham committee
Sarah Donovan
The Durham Town Hall is the site of IWMAC events regarding the signage campaign.

DURHAM- New signs have begun popping up around the University of New Hampshire. Green and small in size, they commonly can be seen in medians at intersections throughout Main Street. Seemingly, these “Recycle Right” signs came out of nowhere. 

The Durham Integrated Waste Management Advisory Committee (IWMAC) is behind the idea. According to Nell Nelson, the chair of the organization, the fact that they are striking an interest means they are serving their purpose. 

Julie Kelley, a member of the committee, said the “Recycle Right” signs are just the first part of a four-month project. In a few weeks, there will be another set of signs reading, “Got Compost?” After a month’s stay, “Reduce, reuse, and repair” will follow. The educational campaign finishes with the message “Say no to single-use plastic”.  

“It’s not that people don’t care about recycling and sustainability, it’s that they just don’t know,” Kelly said. “It can be confusing and hard to get right, and we understand that.”

The IWMAC is comprised of seven representatives spanning from Town Council, the Oyster River Sustainability Committee, the Town Public Works Department and community members looking to get involved. Kelley described her peers as having a variety of different points of view.

“[That] makes it a very passionate, vibrant group, which I love,” she said.

The group’s mission statement includes developing goals, policies and procedures to improve sustainability, determining the most cost effective and sustainable practices for waste management, and making recommendations to reduce disposal and waste. 

A UNH graduate herself, Kelley has lived in Durham for 20 years and has a son enrolled in the school. 

“I wanted to get involved with a committee that was all about sustainability because I feel like I owe it to them [her children] and [the younger] generation and the generations behind [it] to get on the ball,” she said.

Recently, the IWMAC held a meeting at the Durham Public Library to answer questions the community had regarding recycling. Around 30 residents came to join the conversation. Questions regarded what can and can not be recycled, the recycling schedule for Durham, and ways to become involved. The IWMAC will do a similar event for all four subjects featured in the sign project. The committee often leaves tips in the town’s newsletter on how to rid of trash properly, prompting Durham residents to utilize the Public Works curbside recycling program. 

Meetings are held weekly at the Durham Town Hall and are open to the public

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