SMC EcoHeroes - Grounds Crew and Recycling Team

Recycling-Team-EcoHeroes-4-web.jpgSanta Monica College – which is known as one of the “greenest” campuses in the state – has named the college’s grounds crew and recycling teams winners of the 2012 EcoHero Awards.

SMC grounds supervisor Tom Corpus and his crew were cited for their many practices and work, including the implementation of “Green Zones” on campus in which only manpowered or battery-powered equipment is used and organic integrated pest management is applied.

Recycling program specialist Madeline Brodie and her team of student workers were recognized for their effort in implementing SMC’s Zero Waste program and maintaining SMC’s extensive recycling system. In addition, Lisa Lewis Burns, administrative assistant in the SMC Center for Environmental & Urban Studies, was honored for her work with Eco Club members and other students, as well as her support for the many environmental events and programs on campus.

“Sometimes it isn’t easy being green, but these guys do it every day,” said SMC Sustainability Director Genevieve Bertone at an awards luncheon Wednesday (April 25) at the college’s Organic Learning Garden. “These EcoHeroes are truly team players that embody the values of SMC – student success, global citizenship and sustainability.”

JC Keurjian, chief director of facilities, praised the grounds crew for many of its practices, but noted in particular, “All of the staff have really, really stepped up to come up with innovative ways to move SMC in the Green Zone.”

Underlining that achievement, Dan Mabe, president of Green Station in Woodland Hills, presented certificates to SMC officials, saying that it is “the very first college to be Green Station-Green Zone certified.”

“We know the college is progressive and way ahead of the curve in sustainability,” Mabe said.

Bertone noted that the student recycling team, working closely with Brodie, collects, sorts, cleans and processes the tons or recycled waste deposited into special containers spread throughout the main and satellite campuses. In addition, the team members often answer questions posed by students they encounter as they fulfill their duties.

“They close the loop when it comes to recycling, and they do it with a smile on their faces,” Bertone said.

SMC has firmly maintained its status as a leader in sustainable practices. Most recently it opened an Organic Learning Garden in which students and employees are growing fresh and healthy food.

SMC was also the first college in the nation to establish last year a Recycling and Resource Management Certificate program, has had a solar installation training program for two years, and has worked to “green” the curriculum across disciplines.

Winner of Santa Monica’s 2009 Sustainable Quality Awards, the college has been cited for its progressive environmental practices and programs that include its partnership with the non-profit Sustainable Works, which offers students extra credit by participating in extracurricular environmental workshops; its leadership in recycling, highlighted by its worm composting project that turns three tons of SMC cafeteria garbage each year into clean and organic fertilizer and pesticide; and its “Any Line, Any Time” program that offers free transportation to all students, faculty and staff on Big Blue Bus lines.