A newer, bluer Isla Vista emerged last week after several recycling bins were delivered to various residences in the community.
The bins were sent to residences on El Nido Lane and Sabado Tarde Road on Oct. 5 as part of the second installment of the continuing Blue I.V. campaign. The replacement of tan-colored recycling bins with new blue bins is part of a collective effort put forth by the Blue Coalition. The collective aims to increase and improve recycling efforts in I.V.
Third-year environmental studies major and Environmental Affairs Board Publicity Co-Chair Maile Smith said she thinks the new blue bins are a great way to refresh the concept of recycling in I.V.
“It’s a really good campaign and I’m excited to start back up on it this year,” Smith said.
Associated Students’ EAB teamed up last school year with several organizations including the Santa Barbara County Public Works Dept., I.V. Recreation and Park District, MarBorg Industries and Third District Supervisor Brooks Firestone’s office in a collaborative effort to bring Blue I.V. to life.
Smith said the Blue Coalition worked closely over the summer and this past month with waste handling company MarBorg Industries to put together the most recent installment.
“We got a lot of resources from MarBorg and the county,” Smith said. “Whenever we asked for supplies and funding in general, they were there right away.”
On April 20, the first installment of 118 blue bins was delivered to Del Playa Drive. A.S. funded the first phase of the campaign in April, appropriating $5,000 for the project.
The Blue I.V. cooperative project has an overall goal to deliver new blue bins to every street in Isla Vista, starting with DP and moving toward El Colegio Road. MarBorg took over funding of the project for the second and any future installments, supplying the new cans to I.V. free of charge.
Firestone said he was moved by this decision.
“This is a wonderful collaborative effort, and we are very thankful for MarBorg’s generous support in this effort,” Firestone said.
MarBorg Industries Business Manager Derek Carlson said he sees this move as a way of bringing recycling in Isla Vista up-to-date, since recycling programs throughout the country are currently marketing blue bins.
“The biggest message – the reason we did all this – is for people to get more involved in recycling, bottom line,” Carlson said.
Despite MarBorg’s support, the project will take considerable time, Carlson said.
“I’m not saying it’s going to be overnight and I’m not saying the students over at UCSB or the county staff or Mr. Firestone expected us to do it overnight,” he said. “But we’re doing it as fast as we can.”
Carlson said that the next installment of blue bins – allocated to Trigo Road – may arrive within the next eight weeks, possibly as early as Winter Break.
While very supportive of the campaign, Carlson said he was disappointed with how some residents have treated their new recycling bins.
“We are getting graffiti on these carts,” Carlson said. “It’s heartbreaking, spending $50 a cart, plus labor, just to have them graffitied all over.”
Smith said she believes that many I.V. residents ignore recycling programs like Blue I.V.
“I.V. really has the worst recycling record out of anywhere in the county,” Smith said. “Not only do we produce a lot of trash, but there’s also really bad recycling bin contamination. If someone throws really nasty shit from DP in a blue bin, it’s done. It’s over.”
Smith also said the Blue I.V. campaign has lost some ground dealing with the new residents in I.V. Last year residents were made aware of the campaign through a door-to-door effort, but new neighbors were not introduced to the project.
Emma Fugaii, a second-year environmental studies and psychology major who works regularly with the Blue I.V. campaign, said a follow-up door-to-door campaign effort is expected.
Fugaii, Smith and Carlson all said they believe the project is a success, and Smith hopes to help publicize the campaign in the future with T-shirts and possibly having artists decorate the recycling bins.