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Wyoming Conservation Corps Glass Recycling Program Succeeds

May 12, 2014
Three people by recycling bin
Laramie resident Ilona Reif, left, deposits some glass in a Wyoming Conservation Corp recycling bin at the Wal-Mart parking lot. Looking on are WCC crew leader Jim Fried, center, and program director Patrick Harrington. (UW Photo)

Wyoming Conservation Corps members have recycled nearly 8 tons of glass since launching a recycling program earlier this spring.

“The community has really responded and supported the program,” says Patrick Harrington, a senior project coordinator with the WCC, a program administered by the University of Wyoming Residence Life and Dining Services. He says WCC member Jim Fried initiated the glass recycling program after ARK Regional Services discontinued recycling glass, leaving Laramie without a glass recycling program.

Fried, a UW environment and natural resources major from St. Louis, Mo., says the recycling program not only provides a beneficial community service, but it also helps WCC crew members meet a volunteer service requirement.

The program is free, but donations are accepted and have provided sufficient funds to cover the cost of hauling the recycled glass to Loveland, Colo., Harrington says. The crews have made six trips to Loveland after collecting glass at designated times in the Wal-Mart parking lot.

Harrington encourages residents to collect glass for recycling this summer. The WCC will collect glass at the Wal-Mart Parking lot this summer on the following days:

Thursday, June 19, 11 a.m.-6 p.m.;

Friday, June 20, 11 a.m.-4 p.m.;

Thursday, July 17, 11 a.m.-6 p.m.;

Friday, July 18, 11 a.m.-4 p.m.;

Thursday, Aug. 14, 11 a.m.-4 p.m.; and

Friday, Aug. 15, 11 a.m.-3 p.m.

WCC is a grant-supported program that engages students in conservation-based projects throughout the state. The plan for this summer calls for three crews to complete 18 10-day projects. Director Patrick Call says 10 of the projects will be sponsored by the Wyoming Division of State Parks and Historic Sites, traditionally the cooperating agency that supports the most WCC work projects each year.

Students gain leadership experience and skills in projects ranging from maintaining habitat for wildlife and mitigating bark beetle impacts on the forests to creating recreational trail systems and restoring historic sites.

“Some students have told me that working on WCC projects has been a life-changing experience,” Call says. “They are able to go out there and connect with the land and the environment, and be able to do things and give back to the greater good.”

Founded in 2006, the WCC continues the civil service tradition of the Civilian Conservation Corps of the 1930s and Youth Conservation Corps of the 1970s. Nearly 300 students have completed more than 200 projects relating to energy, wildlife, recreation, grazing, timber management, property restoration and maintenance, and water and air quality.


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