Introducing White River State Park’s newest intern-led initiative, the White River State Park Recycling Initiative. The initiative brings about the installation of several recycling receptacles that are projected to divert approximately 30 tons of waste from ending up in Indiana landfills each year.
Each year, WRSP hires interns from universities throughout the state to work on various projects throughout the park. In addition to their assigned duties, these interns are encouraged to identify opportunities to develop their interests and skills while providing a mutually beneficial return for the park. This past summer one intern decided to take a look at waste management in the park and develop recommendations aimed at saving costs and providing an added level of social responsibility. That student intern is Meghan Ziegler, a junior at IUPUI. Meghan’s passion for the environment and fondness of the park led her to complete a waste audit to determine the composition ratio of recyclable materials to organic waste in each area of the park.
“I am proud to say that White River State Park is aiding in the effort to make Indianapolis a more sustainable city, said WRSP Summer Intern and Project Lead, Meghan Ziegler. “As park visitors enjoy our over 250 acres of green space, waterways, and trails, they now have the opportunity to recycle, helping to preserve our beautiful park. It is gratifying to have had the support of our staff in believing in and launching this initiative. It is equally exciting to see it come to fruition.”
Meghan worked closely with WRSP Property Manager, Lisa Milton. Milton holds a Master of Science degree in Environmental Science from Indiana University. Together, they used the results of Meghan’s waste audit to determine the most effective placement of recycling receptacles. They also surveyed WRSP Grounds Maintenance staff on the relative abundance of waste in these areas.
“As a leader in environmental stewardship in our community, we see recycling as a critical mechanism by which we can all contribute to a sustainable future for Indiana,” said Lisa Milton, Property Manager for White River State Park. “Recycling is a common-sense practice that has many benefits to our community beyond simple waste reduction. It preserves habitat, conserves energy and natural resources, and creates jobs and benefits the economy. This is one of the many efforts by WRSP to promote a safe and healthy environment in Indianapolis.”
As a result of their work, the recycling initiative received the green light to install 10 co-mingled use recycling receptacles throughout the park. These initial ten receptacles will be placed in locations that will optimize the collection of recyclable materials. It is the hope of the staff to add additional receptacles throughout the park in the future.