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"A moment with ... David Smith"

03/01/2012

David Smith
"A moment with ..." is a Q-and-A column featuring Miami employees.

David Smith, Miami '05, environmental education and recycling coordinator and master's student in the Institute for the Environment and Sustainability (IES), organizes the RecycleMania competition at Miami. The competition, which includes the entire campus, continues through March 31.

Q: You are a Miami graduate (Western College Program) from 2005 – what brought you back to Miami?
A: I came back to Miami because I was familiar with the IES program, familiar with Miami, and was offered the graduate assistantship as recycling education coordinator.

Q: What did you do in the interim?
A: I worked for Americorps for one year, worked for county park programs in Seattle and near Cleveland, and worked as an erosion control technician and urban garden installer near Cleveland for two years.

Q: What are your goals for this year’s RecycleMania contest?
A: My goals for this year's Recyclemania competition is to be in the Top 10 recycling schools in the nation!

Q:What challenges do you see in reaching that goal?
A: Challenges I see to reach Top 10 are that not all students and staff know what is recyclable or may not care to recycle. However, if they realize that more colleges and universities in the nation are earning respect and prestige for being green, they may be proud that Miami is in the Top 10 for recycling.

Q: In your capacity as recycling coordinator, have you noticed certain pockets on campus of “exemplary recycling behavior” vs. “could be improved?"
A:I have noticed that there is more recycling going on in places like Alumni Hall, Shideler Hall, Farmer School of Business and Upham Hall, as well as Mary Lyon and Wells Halls. Of course, King Library and Shriver, which have the most traffic, are the top two recyclers on campus. The buildings that could improve recycling on campus are Ogden, Richard, and McKee Halls as well as Roudebush Hall and the Engineering Building/Benton Hall.

Q:In this Year of the Arts at Miami, have you explored some of the arts events here this year?
A: Recently, I saw a great performance by Miami's Jazz ensemble.

Q: What are your plans once you receive your master’s degree?
A: After graduation, I plan to look for any environmental work that relates to my interests — urban sustainability, anaerobic digestion of food waste, composting, and permaculture. A sustainability coordinator for another university would be nice.

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