In an effort to clean up trash from the local wetlands before winter arrives, the Recycling and Reuse Technology Transfer Center (RRTTC) at UNI is cleaning up the ponds north of the WRC on Tuesday, Oct. 22.
Those who are interested in joining the clean-up can meet in the northern WRC parking lot at 5 p.m. Equipment, gloves and free pizza from The Other Place will be provided.
This event has gone on for a total of 14 years.
“We also clean up Dry Run Creek,” said RRTTC Program Manager Jenny Bruss. “We start at the wetland and work the way down to Dry Run Creek, especially when there’s flooding because the garbage collects.”
According to the RRTTC’s website, their goal is to solve solid waste problems through education and research. In addition to this mission, RRTTC allows students to work with community members on research projects that improve the environment. They also host films and several events during UNI Earth Week.
RRTTC was inspired to do this particular event because it involved an area that others weren’t looking after.
“There are no other groups that look after the creek and wetlands,” Bruss said. “We’re trying to provide environmental stewardship.”
Bruss’ favorite part of the clean up is seeing the totals of garbage that the volunteer team is able to haul out. She is inspired when she sees people coming out to help with the event, and it gives her a sense of school spirit.
Although environmental protection and change can seem like an overwhelming task, Bruss wanted to emphasize that even small acts can add up to a bigger end. She believes that the work of several people can accomplish a lot.
Even though large efforts can be impressive, Bruss wanted to let others know that putting on these kinds of event is difficult without volunteers. Finding people who have the time and interest can be a tough process, and it’s something that many organizations struggle with.
“I’m hoping for a big turnout so we can cover more ground,” Bruss said. “Everyone’s help goes a long way in cleaning up campus. We’ll have bags and gloves that are provided. People just need to come prepared to get wet and dirty. We’ll enjoy some pizza afterwards.”