Reviving Recycling

Residents Bring Back Green Efforts

Shortly after Butterfield opened in 1986, a few conscientious residents began recycling newspapers – a small initiative which eventually grew to nearly 60 active volunteers who actively collected and properly disposed of paper, cardboard, glass, batteries, plastic and metal containers on campus. 

According to data estimates collected through March 2020, nearly four million pounds of recyclable materials have been diverted from landfills and recycled for additional use. That volume equates to an impressive 56 tons each year or 400 pounds per resident – and more than $1 million saved in labor and dumpster fees over the span of 35 years of active efforts.

Now, after an almost two-year hiatus due to Covid-related restrictions, the Butterfield Recycling Program has been reinstated and is part of a new coordinated effort with the City of Fayetteville to further grow a progressive, innovative program for Butterfield residents and campus operations. The action came about after the Residents’ Council, led by president Ellis Melton, voted in 2022 to make the Recycling Committee a permanent committee of the Residents’ Association. 

Dennis Nelson agreed to chair the committee, and work began in earnest to reorganize the volunteers needed to support collection efforts. Each floor of the apartment buildings has a team of people identified to oversee and assist with trash room management, breakdown of cardboard and hauling of materials to collection points for City of Fayetteville trucks. Residents in cottages and Village Homes are able to carry their own recyclables to the curb for pick-up.

In May, the Recycling Committee sponsored a Recycling Legacy Reception to publicly honor decades of volunteerism and leadership by Butterfield residents – and encourage continued participation in the important effort.