Blue and gold at Northeastern Oklahoma A&M College just got a little more green.  NEO was one of 85 institutions across the country to receive the Recycling Bin Grant through Coca-Cola and the National Recycling Coalition.  Through the grant, NEO will receive 75 bins for plastic bottles and aluminum cans.

Collection of recyclable materials, including plastic bottles, aluminum cans, paper, cardboard and printer cartridges, has become a campus-wide effort this semester.  Red Cedar Recycling in Miami donated containers for recyclable drop-offs, and members of the Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society and an environmental sciences class, in addition to NEO faculty and staff, volunteer to collect the items on a weekly basis.

“Through our Going Green Initiative, we are committed to creating a culture of waste-awareness, so our students, faculty, staff and the public will be motivated to reduce the amount of landfill space used by the college and community,” said Gina Manders, chair of the Going Green Committee and author of the college’s grant application.

Because of a national interest green-thinking, Manders said it is plausible to believe that many understand the concerns of global warming, climate change and environmental concerns.  But an April of 2007 survey of 500 Americans by the Green Living Tips website said that 70 percent of Americans were not aware that most plastics are made from crude oil.  The same survey revealed that and 40 percent believed plastics were biodegradable when they are not.

“Our hope is that NEO’s Going Green initiative will have a positive influence on encouraging people to walk the sustainability walk,” said Manders.  “We want to build a healthy future for generations to come through education, promotion of environmental leadership, community outreach, and implementation of sustainable practices.”

The bins provided to NEO through the grant will be placed in NEO’s classroom buildings, as well as the Student Union, Student Activity Center, football field house, residence halls and at the Grove Higher Education Center.   Additional bins will also be available for special events at the college.

The Recycling Bin Grant Program was open to government agencies, civic organizations, schools, non-profit groups, and for-profit companies.  NEO was awarded the grant based on how the bins will assist the college in achieving its environmental goals, the setting in which the bins will be used and how the bins will grow NEO’s recycling efforts, among other criterion.

Manders said the bins should be in place on campus by the end of January, 2009.