Firefighter Student Starts Recycling Program

By:
Sierra Hernandez

Keene might be getting a recycling program soon, thanks to a plan that Philip Jackson, a 62-year-old retired firefighter and fire science major at Southwestern Adventist University, is pulling together.

Jackson intends for the program to extend past the campus and into the community. He believes there is currently no real way to recycle here in Keene that is easily accessible for the community and he wants to change that.

“I wanted to start this for two reasons,” Jackson says. “One: For the litter that is prevalent in this town and two: For the recycling that can be done relatively cheaply.”

Jackson has come up with a new method of recycling for the city of Keene that would be primarily done through Southwestern's Biology Club. While the University has long since had a recycling program, Jackson plans to have the University and the City of Keene partner on the project. He hopes that more students will get involved with the project so it can continue after he graduates.

Jackson has already purchased a recycling trailer and will be placing it at the back of the library parking lot next to the recycling dumpsters that are already there. His goal is to have community residents collect their recycling materials and bring them to the bin. Once the bin is filled up, the club will sell the materials to a recycling company and use the money to help keep the project active so that they can tackle other tasks beyond recycling. Soon, Jackson hopes to have a website and an official name for the group. The project’s current working name is KICK, which stands for Keep It Clean Keene.

There are many ways that people can get involved. The easiest way would be to keep a collection of all recycled materials so that they can be put into the bin. Another would be to help collect materials from neighbors and spread the word, so that others can be involved in this cause as well.

Since the idea is new, Jackson is still working out the logistics. The first collection date was October 29. He plans to promote a monthly collection date through the University, the City of Keene, and 88.3 The Journey. Further information will be shared here when the dates are set.