Isla Vista is going green – errr… blue this week, as the Environmental Affairs Board kicks off its new recycling campaign, Blue I.V.
Yesterday, coordinators from EAB and county officials met with volunteers and supporters at Pelican Park on the 6500 block of Del Playa Drive to introduce the group’s campaign to the community and outline a plan for spreading the word about Blue I.V. EAB’s efforts for the program – which hopes to beautify I.V.’s streets and encourage more residents to recycle – include replacing all of the existing tan recycling bins in the community with new bright blue ones.
EAB coordinator Costanza Rampini said another goal of the campaign is to change popular attitudes about trash and recycling.
“We are trying to get students to realize that their recyclables are valuable,” Rampini said.
After yesterday’s meeting, volunteers took to the streets of I.V., knocking on doors to inform residents about the movement, inquiring about their views on recycling and also handing out magnets with detailed descriptions of recyclable products.
Since last September, EAB has been collaborating with local groups such as the Shoreline Preservation Fund, the Isla Vista Community Relations Committee and the Santa Barbara County Dept. of Public Works to address the problem of trash contaminating recycle bins.
Associated Students donated $5,000 to EAB for the campaign, and the county also contributed $1,000 in grant money.
Third District Supervisor Brooks Firestone, who is working closely with EAB on the project, said that while Santa Barbara has a good recycling record overall, the I.V. area could use some improvement.
“The county as a whole recycles 63 percent of the trash we receive, but we can always do better… Isla Vista has been slipping,” he said.
Firestone said that although the recycling campaign is just a small step toward EAB and the community’s goal, it is still important for helping the environment and improving local recycling efforts.
“It’s a good step to save those things that can be recycled,” he said.
Rampini, a fourth-year environmental studies major, said she thinks the program will be successful, especially if it changes recycling practices on Del Playa Drive.
“Improving recycling on DP is the biggest problem,” she said.
In addition to its work this week, EAB plans to set up a booth at the Chilla Vista festival this June called the Recycling Store. I.V. residents will be encouraged to bring in recyclables like cans and bottles in exchange for various rewards like water bottles, coffee mugs and tote bags.
Firestone said he commends EAB and its volunteers for taking action to change the environment for the better.
“A lot of people around here just talk the talk,” he said. “These volunteers are walking the walk and that’s a great thing.”