Green Group receives grant from Evergy for new recycling bins in Flats and Suites

Wichita State student Alice Fitzgerald, president of The Green Group, talks about the new recycling bins to be placed in the Flats and the Suites at WSU on July 21, 2021. (Monique Gaines / The Sunflower)

The Green Group recently received a $5,000 grant from Evergy to purchase recycling bins for the Flats and Suites, a compost bin in the community garden, and other items for the garden.

“Last time I checked, we have 15,000 students and only eight percent live on campus, but as a school we waste a lot of plastic, energy, water,” Alice Fitzgerald, president of The Green Group, said.  “Because there are 15,000 people who come here and learn and eat and study.” 

“We thought the biggest way to kind of tackle that was with the people who do live on campus, because they are the ones hanging out and staying around here the most.”

Fitzgerald said that in other European countries, it is commonplace for people to recycle, while in the United States  it is not.  The Green Group hopes that these recycling bins will help educate people on how to recycle properly.

The Green Group applied for the grant with hundreds of ideas that would make campus more sustainable, and Evergy picked three of them to fund with the grant.  

“The partnership is really important especially since Evergy is one of the main sources of energy for the Wichita area and most of the U.S.,” Fitzgerald said. “It’s good to have a strong power on our side.”

Fitzgerald said she hopes that these new sustainability efforts on campus will make people more aware of the things they can do to help the environment on a daily basis.  

“I’m really passionate about the environment and doing everything that we can to protect what we have and prevent future damage,” Fitzgerald said.

Fitzgerald said that The Green Group is the only sustainable or environmentally-focused group on campus.  One of their projects is volunteering at Pro Kansas Recycling, along with other initiatives on campus.

“One of the biggest ones that we aren’t making a lot of progress with is making the new side of campus full of native biodiversity, so making sure that it’s not just Kentucky Bluegrass,” Fitzgerald said.

They also want to put solar panels on newer buildings, introduce a community seed library, and start using the compost bin that was bought with the grant money from Evergy.  Fitzgerald said that they also want to recruit new members.

“We want to put the community garden on the map,” Fitzgerald said.

The Green Group will be unveiling  the new recycling bins and the compost bin at an event to be held at a future date.  Their first meeting will be open to the public. Details are yet to be confirmed. 

EDITOR’S NOTE: A previous version of this story stated an incorrect number and misspelled a name.  This version reflects the corrections.