WATERVILLE— Thomas College recently was awarded monies for a more sustainable and ecofriendly campus through the ecomaine School Recycling Grant Program. Ecomaine is a zero-sort recycling company based in Portland that serves the recycling programs in 20 Maine communities, according to a news release from the college.

Students Kaylee Marraffa and Annie Young were a huge part in making this opportunity happen.

The grant monies will be used to buy recycling and returnable bins for the campus.

Co-presidents of Club Green, Thomas’ environmental sustainability club, Marraffa and Young worked together with their club advisor, Professor Steve Kahl, to write the grant proposal. They were excited to hear back that they received the grant.

“I think it will start a new wave of educating the campus,” said Young, according to the release. “We haven’t had all of the resources in the past to do that, but now with this grant, I think it will be a good a start for us.”

Club Green’s mission is to “help create an environmentally friendly campus by educating students and the community through activities and events that promote sustainability. These activities and events prepare students for a sustainable future that will save them money in their adult lives — and will reduce costs for the campus right away.”

“We want to figure out how to get students involved and excited about recycling. We want them to know that it really does make a difference,” said Marraffa, according to the release.

Kahl said this grant writing process was a great opportunity for the two students, Marraffa and Young.

“It’s a great resume builder and really engaged these students. They did a great job,” he said, according to the release.

The bins will be placed strategically all over campus — from the residence halls to the staff and faculty offices.

This year, Club Green is planning more events and their membership has grown dramatically since the first two years of the club’s existence. Kaylee said she’s excited to see this momentum.

The events for next semester include a tree-planting ceremony on Earth Day, and an electronic vehicle drive-in event on campus in April as part of PluginAmerica.org EV Drive Day events to be help nationwide. The event on campus will give Thomas students and the greater Waterville community the opportunity to test drive electric vehicles.

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