Working Green at MIT - Working Group Recycling Committee

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About us

The mission of Working Green committee is to develop and deliver programs that educate administrative and support staff at MIT about recycling, reducing and reusing goods. Efforts include identifying/addressing gaps in staff understanding about recycling as well as gaps in recycling resources, and creating ways to increase recycling at MIT.

Working Green has been actively promoting recycling since 2000, when MIT's recycling rate was a very low 11%. The effort appears to have worked—in 2006, MIT received the Go Green Award from the City of Cambridge for reaching a 40% recycling rate in 2005. And in the same year Working Green members were recognized with an MIT Excellence Award for the work they have done in the MIT Community.

Working Green membership includes MIT support and administrative staff, representatives from MIT's Environmental Programs Office and Department of Facilities, and members of other campus advocacy groups, including some students. Affiliates include the Director, Recycling Division of the City of Cambridge among others.

The Working Green committee has about 100 volunteer ambassadors who reach out to the community and communicate the committee's initiatives and encourage recycling in their particular department, lab or center.

Working Green Beginnings

In 2000, members of the Working Group on Support Staff Issues (WGSSI) discovered that there were no recycling bins in the rooms where they met for their monthly meetings. A group of people, led by Anne Wasserman and Laura Moses, saw this as an opportunity to support the Working Group and the MIT support staff community in a new way, and the new Working Group Recycling Committee (WGR) was formed. WGR joined forces with Environmental Programs Task Force (EPTF) and the combined group worked together to address issues surrounding recycling and sustainability on campus.