When plans were made to create a new recycling center, administrators for Michigan State University's office of waste management and recycling wanted to build one that everyone could use.
Two new facilities are currently under construction in Cherry Lane Apartments, and administrator Roger Cargill said he immediately thought to collaborate with the Resource Center for Persons with Disabilities. Many of the alterations included adding curb cuts and shorter receptacles that open like mailboxes so people that use wheelchairs can gain access.
To make these changes, he worked closely with RCPD specialist John Pedraza, who helped him incorporate features that make the recycling center accessible.
"He helped me find out how the facility needed to be built by using ADA standards," Cargill said, "The thing is, it wasn't even that difficult to make the changes, you just have to think about doing it in the first place."
Pedraza explains that remembering the disabled community is something Cargill does quite often, "We've worked on making the main recycling office accessible over the years because he has a lot of school children with disabilities who come and help him do a lot of sorting. I think it's great that he can really see the needs of the community and then actually do something about making needed changes."
In addition to making building changes, Cargill has extended the hours of operation. He says he knows it's hard enough to get around this campus without a disability, so he wanted to make things simpler for students, not just those that are living with one.
"A truck used to sit in the Cherry Lane Parking lot for four hours, once a week so people could recycle because there was no facility there," he said, "Now that there are two, students can recycle 24-hours a day, seven days a week.
Although Cargill hopes to have the facility finished by National Recycling day on November 15th, he says he plans to continue working with the resource center to place Braille instructions on all of the receptacles. That way, anyone who uses the facility can talk trash with the best of them.