NEC Zero Waste Intern
At Humboldt State University and the surrounding community, The WRRAP program is known by all as a long time leader in zero waste practice. Beginning over 30 years ago in 1987, WRRAP, or the Waste-Reduction and Resource Awareness Program, began as the Campus Recycling Program, kicking off recycling at HSU. Today WRAPP takes form as a multi-faceted program on campus working to help reduce waste from multiple angles, both on campus and throughout the community. WRRAP consists of five branches; Compost, Education, Reusable Office and Supply Exchange (R.O.S.E.), Zero Waste, and the Bicycle Learning Center (BLC). Each work in unison to promote an overall goal of diverting waste from the landfill.
I had the pleasure of Interviewing the Director of WRRAP’s Reusable Office and Supply Exchange program (or ROSE), Sam Kelly. The R.O.S.E program provides a wide variety of free donated office supplies to students and local community for use. Binders, folders, staplers, dividers, notebooks, writing utensils and a variety of other office supplies have been given a second life in the program. Kelly explains that the mission of the WRRAP and ROSE programs is to “promote different views on consumption, and provide access to resources to encourage these views.” The ROSE House also promotes up-cycling of materials that have been donated to the program. “The reuse of items can go beyond their intended purpose, and be looked at from a new, creative perspective,” says Kelly. By providing access to these resources, ROSE promotes, to both students and community members, the re-use of items that would have otherwise been bought new.
The new local recycling protocols enacted over the past year have added to the education side of WRRAP. As the recycling dynamic has changed in the city, WRRAP has worked to better educate the public on how to properly dispose of recyclable items. “WRRAP has attempted to work as a resource to provide updates and accurate information to the campus community to ensure that recycling is being done right in light of these changes to how local waste is recycled,” explains Kelly.
As WRAPP has grown and expanded over the past 30 years, the mission of the program has stayed the same in supporting alternatives to the landfill, and providing community resources to better educate the public on these alternatives. In an ever consuming society, the work of the WRRAP and ROSE programs is extremely valuable in turning around the way we look at how we utilize our resources.