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Rachel Geiger
More Art, Less Trash

Last modified: Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Student artists display their talents in support of campus sustainability

April 19, 2011

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- For the rest of the semester, student designed and painted recycling bins will be stationed around campus to encourage outdoor recycling. The project, organized by the Volunteers in Sustainability and titled "More Art, Less Trash," is intended to increase the student recycling effort by having bins available outside.

Recycle Bins

IU sophomore Ellen Spurgeon paints recycle bins at Foster Residence Center for the More Art, Less Trash project.

Print-Quality Photo

Students submitted their designs to be judged by a panel of IU staff and faculty, and the top eight designs were applied to bins. The top three were then picked to receive prizes of $50, $25, and $25 respectively. An additional bin will be painted again this year at Sustain IU Week's "Green Day" concert.

The bins are now located in heavily frequented areas and will collect plastic and aluminum. Recyclables collected in the bins will be emptied by Campus Division staff and deposited into the campus recycling system.

"Similar to public art cows in Chicago and pigs in Seattle, the art recycle bins grab passersby attention and engage them to recycle," said Steve Akers, associate director of environmental operations with IU Residential Programs and Services. "In the first three years of the effort, the bins have collected over 7,000 pounds of plastic, metals, and glass. The More Art, Less Trash effort has identified a high need for permanent outdoor recycling that we hope will be installed very soon."

The top three designs this year are as follows:

  • First place: Kid playing on tire swing, painted by Julia Denison, located at Seventh and Jordan
  • Second place: Leaves and water droplet, painted by Ellen Spurgeon, located outside of Ballantine Hall
  • Third place: Peacock, painted by Erika Powers, located by Dunn Meadow

This recycling project is supported by Volunteers in Sustainability in coordination with the IU Bloomington Office of Sustainability, the Residence Halls Association, the University Architect's Office, the School of Fine Arts and the IU Physical Plant's Building Services and Campus Division departments.