Students celebrate Earth Day at St. Ambrose

Anne Marie Amacher
Seniors Laura Meloy, left, and Emma Duncan sort items from the garbage at St. Ambrose University in Davenport April 22. The sorting project was part of the Earth Day celebration on campus at the Rogalski Center.

By Anne Marie Amacher
The Catholic Messenger

DAVENPORT — The St. Ambrose University community celebrated Earth Day from its start in 1970, but by the early 2000s “ran out of steam,” said Dennis Tarasi, assistant professor of biology. The student group Green Life revived the tradition and held an Earth Day event for the second year in a row on April 22. Student clubs from the university and environmental partners associated with St. Ambrose and the community planned to celebrate the event outdoors but rain moved it inside.

“We are reaching out and building positive relationships with our community partners,” Tarasi said. Green Life plans to discuss how to grow the event and get the community further involved, such as attracting families to participate.

Outside the Rogalski Center, beneath a tent canopy, students took turns sorting bags of garbage into different bins for recycling. Seniors Emma Duncan, president of Green Life, and Laura Meloy, a member, donned hazardous materials suits and special gloves to sort the materials for distribution to bins for plastic, glass, fiber (paper), cardboard, metal and more. Items for the landfill went into another bin.


St. Ambrose recycles on campus, but the types of items collected varies by campus building. Some buildings have bins for a variety of items while others might be limited to plastic. The Green Life members noted that Scott Area Recycling Center allows for comingled items.

Inside Rogalski, students groups and community organizations such as Midland Recycling, LRS Recycling, Progressive Action for the Common Good, and Partners for Scott County Watersheds set up tables with information about their groups. One of the tables featured information about a Sustainability Roundtable series slated to begin in the fall.

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