Courses / Recycling in IES Center

Reciclaje en IES - Mallory Joe Kurt and Annie


In order to make the IES Center a more sustainable learning environemnt for its students we have decided to design an action to add a recycling program for the center. The low cost of this action could be easily paid for through a bake sale at IES if the administration was not willing to front the money. This is a simple and smart way to make IES a more environmentally friendly community without making major changes or requiring major money. We will speak with the cleaning services at IES to ensure that they are also on board with this plan so the waste will end up in the bins where they belong.

1. What is the action

The action we hope to be implemented will be a recycling program at the IES center. We have found that there are no recycling bins in IES. If IES will not fund the purchasing of recycling bins we will hold a bake sale and ask donations of money be made to help this project. The bins would not have to be fancy or extensive, even having one bin for recycling paper, one for plastic, and one for glass on the first floor would be an improvement over the current situation. We will promote our bake sale as well as the recycling campaign with advertising through email or scrap paper posters to remain sustainable. Once the money has been made to buy the recycling bins we will purchase them in the most sustainable way possible. We could have an opening ceremony party for the start of the recycling program at the center to help make everyone aware of the new bins and their purpose. We would have to make sure that the custodial team at IES would be on board with helping us carry out the recycling program as they would have a very important role in this action. Students could be reminded about the usefulness of these bins and their positive impact on the world by taking these small steps with small scrap paper signs above the bins. The bins would be available on every floor but primarliy the first floor because that is where most of the action happens. We have noticed the extent of plastic bottle use, and the lack of proper disposal opportunities here in IES. We will not need very big bins because the cleaning staff removes the garbage every night when they clean the center and they could immediately place the recycled waste into the bins they are supposed to go in. Sustainability and environmental conciousness are a large part of Spanish culture, and it is important to continue these values within the IES building and community.

1.1. Similar actions form previous semesters

Some former actions similar to our own:




Both Annie and Mallory are living in apartments this semester and while they both have access to recycling bins they also recognize how much of this action lies in the hands of the residents. It is really great to have bins for recycling in our kitchens and we always use them and follow the insturctions to dispose of each material properly but we understand that this is probably not the case for all IES students in apartments. From these reports we learned that students might need another incentive to recycle, or more education about it. While we all like the idea of being environmentally friendly it can be hard to see the value in each singular action or decision that every individual makes. Showing the environmental importance of recycling on an individual basis will bring conciousness to IES students and encourage sustainable action. While people should just want to recycle on their own it would be neat if would could find some way to incentiveize the recycling process at the IES center so that even if it was not the most convienent thing people would want to recycle and would be as excited about it as we are.

1.1.1. Why this or a similar action didn't succed in previous semesters?

This action has not been implemented in pervious semesters. A similar action that was implemented was recycling in IES apartments and it has been quite successful. We think this action succedded because people want the world to be a better place and they like to throw their glass bottles into the big grey bins on and hear them break into many pieces and separating your recycling in the house makes this much easier to do later.

1.2. SWOT Analysis


  • recycling
  • feasible
  • existing infrastructure
  • cheap
  • will reduce trash levels at IES
  • sustainability education

  • not best option
  • relies on student and staff participation
  • hard to manage long term
  • doesn't promote upcylcing and better resource management
  • doesn't fix the problem of water bottle uses, just helps deal with waste in a better way

  • get people excited about recycling
  • chance to create awareness about up and down cycling
  • capacity to reduce waste in IES
  • sustainability education
  • make IES greener place

  • cost
  • maintenence
  • lack of student participation
  • lack of staff participation (cleaning staff compliance with recycling rules)
  • mistakes in recycling bins

The weaknesses can be overcome intergrating the plan with long term staff at the IES center. If administrators and proffessors are involved they can make sure that during each term the project is carried on. Also using posters in the areas around these bins can help teach the community abou the limitations of recycling as well as how to down/up cycle. Getting the staff onboard, educating the students on sustainability and ensuring the continuity of a sustainable focus from students to teachers to cleaning staff will result in the most successful possible campaign.

You can't force students to participate, so if one term students are especially apatheic, the project might fail to materialize during that term.The best we can do is provide proper education about the subject, and install the most approachable and accessible infrastructure as possible.

The threats can be minimized be using the bake sale plan to raise funds, as well as using word of mouth to spread the importance of rycling to the student population.

1.3. Feedback loops

Recycling and reusing are inherently a closed feedback loop, but much of the process is not visible to the people involved. Because the recycling process is reliant on city, state or company function, I will discuss what IES students and staff can do as their portion of the cycle. After drinking a water bottle or printing an article from the computer, one is left with waste. Paper and plastic are recyclable goods, and need to be treated appropriately in order to recycle them. Clean, plain paper or empty bottles are products which can be reused, and if not that, atleast placed in the appropriate waste bin. Once someone is finished with the paper or plastic, recycling it appropriately, by placing it in the correct container, is all they must do. Next, when these bins are full, the responsible staff member will take the recycled material and place it in the correct bin outside of IES. This, along with others' recycling will continue along the chain and eventually be reduced into a raw material and reused for other products, such as more paper or more plastic bottles. By encouraging the recycling of plastics and paper, we can reduce our waste that eventually ends up in landfills. Being less wasteful and more mindful of where our waste goes is one of the first steps to take in order to become more sustainable as a learning community.
Remember that a closed "loop" needs to end at the starting point where the whole chain of actions started. Remember also that arrows with a negative sign mean opposite effect.

1.4. Advertising

As usual Joe will be in charge of coming up with catchy posters to get people excited about raising money for the program with the bake sale as well as getting people PUMPED TO RECYCLE which is critical to the success of the project.

2. Why this action makes things more sustainable?

This action will elimate most paper, and plastic waste at the IES center. Both of those are major sources of waste since they are the primary wastes of the food products that the students consume with a rapid frequency. This promotes a "Cradle to Cradle" lifestyle by reminding students that the waste products from our food, and actually re-enter the system of production to reduce the abhorrent effects of our consumption on the enviornment. This action allows us to reduce our dependency on traditional waste containers, in favor of new steamlined recyling bins. The other major effect of this action is the change in attitudes it creates. The lack of official reclycling bins in IES makes students appatheic about recyling. Having these bins will reinforce positive attitudes for the students and allow even more changes to be made, allowing the IES center to become much more sustainble.

2.1. Potential Costs

Costs of all types, in "Order of Magnitude":
We need to buy 3 reclying bins. This can be done by either IES or by raising money. The amount of money needed to buy 3 bins (one for each floor comes out to 15 euro not including shipping. With shipping an estimated tital cost of 50 dollars.

If baking is needed to be done to raise money, the cost of materials would be 27 dollars. This means we would have to raise 77 dollars or 60 euros. This is definetly feasible.

3. How will you implement it

Thus far we have created a flyer for the recycling campaign, as well as devised the appropriate plan for starting the recycling campaign. Before leaving for the USA, we plan to host a bake sale and to gather funds for the bins, as well as spread awareness about the new campaign. In doing this bakesale, we will incentivize action as well as raise money for the purchasing of bins. There will be one recycling site, definitely on the first floor, but ideally on each floor, with coinciding signs of where to place specific recyclable materials such as paper and plastic. Joe has created the ad for the campaign, which will be emailed to the IES community as well as posted on bulletin boards. Mallory and Annie will bake for the bakesale as well as spread the word about the campaign, and Kurt will help with bakesale and purchase the bins, being sure to educate anyone who needs help in using the proper bins for their recyclables. Based on the success of the bakesale, our timesheet would vary. We hope to gain enough money for the bins over 2 days during the final week of school, and purchase them shortly after getting the money.

3.1. Prototype (or Proof of Concept)

To bake goods we will be shopping at the local Carrefour off las ramblas. This enables to purchase items cheaply to make goods at the bake sale priced more reasonably.



3.2. "Cradle to Cradle" design

While redesiging is the best way to avoid waste, it is probably not feasible for students who are studying abroad and who will only be using the IES center for a short period of time. Reducing is also a better way to be sustainable but we dont find that there is a surplus of waste at the center, just that there is not always somewhere to put it. Reusing is certainly done among IES students. Scrap papers are kept by the printer for unimportant documents to be printed on and for students to use instead of using a new piece of paper. Many students also reuse water bottles which certainly helps. We are aiming to RECYCLE with our implementation. This may be the most simple design we could use but for us it is necessary to have. We do not feel that creating the recycling program would create any more waste, just find ways to dispose of it correctly and in the most sustainably way possible.

3.3. Flyers?

Joe has designed a hypothetical flyer for the event. It encourages people to particpate and assist the cause.

3.4. Incentives

The bake sale incetivizes the donation process with sweets, this allows people to recieve an immediate good, while investing in a sustainible future for IES. Once the bins are in place, they will be easy and accessible for students to use, and little to no incentive is needed.

3.5. Relationship with the Other initiatives being impelemted

The educational aspects of the other initiatives this semester go hand in hand with our recycling campaign. Combined with appropriate education and knowledge, students will have the proper opportunities and infrastructure to deal with their paper and plastic waste in an environmentally concious manner.

3.6. How will this action be sustained when you are not here?

When we are not here, the project will rely on adminstration and professors, to communicate this project to students. Then students who have interest will be organized into a team to secure the continuation of this project. Once the bins are in place, there is no need for them to be removed. The process of waste management will be the same, as long as the cleaning staff continues to recycle the waste in the appropriate bins.

3.7. Comparison to similar actions form previous semesters

Our action is similar to other actions because we share the same goal. To fund the creation of an official reclcying bin for the interior of the IES. However, we more effectively plan for the long term when we seek to incorporate the adminstration and staff into the project.

4. Time-sheet / Chronogram

First you have to get in your group, and assign various roles to delegate roles of each team member.

secondly you must arrange time table for each phase, i.e. addressing the IES staff, purchasing of materials, and the bakesale.

then you must address the IES staff,

purchase the materials,

hold the bake sale,

and introduce the recycling bins into the IES community.

4.1. Who will do what

Kurt Nugent (Administrative Executive) Manages the tasks of other team members, comunicates with building staff to ask for money and coordinate plans based off their result
Joseph Brand (Media Manager) Designs media including posters, emails and designing with other intersted students
Mallory Grimm (Administrative Liason) Works and meets with IES staff to inform them of our work, she will order the bins and handle financial transactions.
Ann Scheer (Chief Baker) Bakes goods for the bake sale, works with Joe to create flyers, rallys other students and staff to create baking teams, and create diversity amongst the snacks that are brought.

4.2. What has been done this semester?

This semester we made posters to advertise for the recycling program. We also talked to the rest of the students at IES to get their input about recycling and the lack of the recycling program in IES. Many students were shocked as well, wondering how you could have a school without a place to put paper when it is no longer useful. We think this positive feedback from our peers means that the program will be super-duper successful in semesters to come because people at IES are smart and they want to recycle their paper and plastics.

4.3. What needs to be done to repeat the action in the future?

Hopefully this action will never need to be repeated after it has been implemented once. We suggest the implementing team to have a diverse groups as our own, with artists, organizers, chefs, and go-getters. We have not done anything that would take much effort to duplicate and in fact we suggest using originiality to implement this action. The posters can be created in any manner as long as they teach the importance of recycling. The bake sale could be swaped for any number of small, community building projects, the presentation to the IES administration for money for the program could be conducted in a number of ways, and the physical bins used for recycling could come from many places. We are only four brains and we found the best ways to implement the actions and raise money as we could but we are certain that futue groups will have great, possibly better ideas and we encourage people to continue searching for the best answer for these problems.

A few things will probably be certain for any group:
1. Find best possible way to find/ buy recycling bins for the center
2. Propose idea to IES with exact products and their cost
3. If denied the money... raise awareness for the cause and then raise money to benefit the new recycling center (in our case this would be through the bake sale)
4. Buy goods for bake sale
5. Cook goods
6. Advertise for bake sale
7. Sell baked goods and make money
8. Use money to purchase recycling bins
9. Organize opening ceremony to hype up recycling
10. Place recycling bins in obvious locations
11. Remind everyone how cool recycling is


All material produced was unique and created by the members of this group and is avalible for all parties to use for free.

7. Other References

See the links to other similar projects.

8. Annexes

All relevant annexes are included, in the form of media, links and posters.

We want to use a creative commons license to increase the ease in which people can use our media.Creative Commons(CC),

8.2. What did you learn and what did you incoporate from the feedback received?

The feedback was genearlly positive, however the common thread was that we were too general, and hadn't yet analyzed the costs for buying recling bins. This is exceptionally important because it helped us focus on the potential need to raise more money that anticipated.

8.3. Acknowledgements

We would like to acknowledge Olga our muse and inspiration for this project. We would also like to thank future students for their contributions.

8.4. Students involved in this action

Kurt Nugent (Administrative Executive) Manages the tasks of other team members, and ensures effective communication between all parties
Joseph Brand (Media Manager) Designs media including posters, emails and other advertising techniques.
Mallory Grimm (Administrative Liason) Works and meets with IES staff to inform them of our work, and ask for additional sponsorship.
Ann Scheer (Chief Baker) Bakes goods for the bake sale, works with Joe to create flyers, and assists with presentations when necessary.

Page last modified on Monday 02 of December, 2013 23:42:28