Around Amherst: Student recycling contest takes off

Staff Writer
Sunday, April 15, 2018

AMHERST — With the Sustainability Festival taking place on the Town Common Saturday, the town’s recycling coordinator is in the midst of a program encouraging college students to do more recycling.

Miriam Kaplan said she has been joined by Ruth Rohde, an intern from the University of Massachusetts, in overseeing a program at the Olympia Place apartment building to see which of the five floors’ students can do the most recycling.

During the three-week contest, Rohde examines the recycling bins twice each week to get tallies of the volume of recycled material, and to see if there is contamination.

“We thought that a recycling contest would motivate the students to focus on improving their recycling habits,” Rohde said.

Kaplan said this is part of an effort to improve recycling at multi-family residences, and to get students more engaged in recycling. Those on the winning floor will each get $10 gift certificates to Bueno y Sano.

More recycling has been taking place, but much of the product is still contaminated a problem Kaplan said she observes at Amherst homes, as well.

At the fair, running from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., more than 100 vendors, offering renewable energy products, crafts and informational displays, will be set up alongside demonstrations, musical performances and recycling stations.

Among acts that will perform are Under the Tree Music, Andy Stewart, The Valley Women Drummers, The Greys and The Frost Heaves and Hales. The Piti Theatre Company will also be on hand.

The demonstrations will include reusable bags by Jordan Lake at 11 a.m., soy kefir by David Lovler at noon, puppets by Beth Fairservis at 1 and 3 p.m. and pollinator gardens by Robin Huntley at 2 p.m.

People will be able to recycle plastic bags, Styrofoam chunks, textiles and shoes, and cellphones and accessories.

Job fair

A job fair featuring 13 local employers will be held at the Amherst Survival Center, 138 Sunderland Road, April 18 from 1 to 2:30 p.m.

A collaboration with the Franklin Hampshire Career Center, the fair is one of two held at the Amherst site each year, along with a late spring panel focused on helping teenagers to find summer jobs.

“Our jobs search program has a very successful track record in helping people find work,” Executive Director Mindy Domb said in a statement. “Over 60 people attended our last job fair in the fall.”

This program also includes weekly one-on-one assistance every Thursday from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m., access to the center’s public computers, and interview- and employment-related clothing through the center’s community store. 

Employers who will be present include the town of Amherst, Amherst College, Amherst Regional Public Schools, Big Y, Center for Human Development, Community Action, Comprehensive Home Care, Cooley Dickinson Healthcare, Home Depot, MGM Springfield, Pathlight, Auxiliary Services at the University of Massachusetts and UPS.

Cuppa Joe with Paul

Residents interested in learning more about what is happening in town and bringing compliments or concerns cane meet with Town Manager Paul Bockelman at The Works, 48 North Pleasant St., April 20 from 7:30 to 9:30 a.m.

At his regular Cuppa Joe with Paul event, Bockelman will be joined by Leisure Services and Supplemental Education Director Barb Bilz.

Equal Pay Day

The Works Café in downtown Amherst marked Equal Pay Day Tuesday by highlighting pay-gap statistics with coffee sleeves and napkins and a call for solutions that include paid leave.

The day signifies how long into 2018 an average woman has to work, between 2017 and 2018, to earn what an average white man made by the end of 2017.

MomsRising and Main Street Alliance, organizations promoting fair wages, worked with the restaurant to show that on average, women employed full time in the U.S. lose a combined total of more than $840 billion annually due to the wage gap.

A national paid family and medical leave program, according to those organizations, would help close the gender wage gap.

GCC campaign

Amherst Assistant Fire Chief Lindsay Stromgren was recently named a co-leader of the Greenfield Community College Foundation’s 2018 annual campaign

A 1995 graduate of fire science program, Stromgren, of Pelham, joins Amherst resident Lorna Peterson, the retired executive director of Five Colleges, Inc., at the helm of the campaign.

“I wanted to do more for the college, recognizing the multiple connections I have and have had to GCC over the years,” Stromgren sauid.

Stromgren’s daughter, Merissa, is now a student at the college.


TUESDAY: Amherst Cultural Council, 4:30 p.m., Amherst Room, Jones Library.

WEDNESDAY: Select Board, 6:30 p.m., community room, police station; Planning Board, 7 p.m., Town Room, Town Hall.

THURSDAY: Finance Committee, 7 p.m., First Floor Meeting Room, Town Hall.