Development Of A Material Reuse Information Guide: A Community Service Project For First Year Students

Cynthia Veit, Chris Swan
2003 Annual Conference Proceedings   unpublished
Over the last 20 years, recycling programs have developed throughout the United States and internationally. However, though "recover, recycle and reuse" (the new 3R's) is a familiar mantra in most communities, it is the recovery; the physical act of separating waste into recyclable materials, that is the most widely known element of this triad. Once the "recycled" material is placed at the curbside or brought to the recycling center, what happens next? Researching and describing what happens
more » ... ing what happens next was the project of a course on the reuse of waste as construction materials. The course serves as an introductory course for first-year engineering students to see what type of work engineers may do in their professional careers. To create an appropriate, "realworld" component of the course, students were tasked to research options for recycled material reuse. This paper describes how this effort was transformed into a community service-learning project. Community service learning, the pedagogy of combining education with community service, has value in a number of academic fields. The students in the course were assigned communities (municipalities) in Massachusetts, who have recycling programs, and were tasked with developing a Material Reuse Information Guide for community residents. The projects were successful in a number of areas. Since they were real problems, they carried more meaning and encouraged greater student learning, enriching the students' educational experience. Additionally, the projects not only benefited the students, but also the affected communities, providing additional information that could be delivered to their residents.
doi:10.18260/1-2--12141 fatcat:b354w4x575f5rizx3clhanfcni