The Greenopolis Dream Machines are scheduled to come to campus, and the goal is to have them installed by Earth Day, April 22.
“We wanted to do the publicity and PR right before Earth Day,” Instructor of Sociology Keith Whitworth said.
Director of Housing & Residence Life Craig Allen said there would be three machines on campus. Two would be in on-campus residence halls — Sherley Hall and Colby Hall — while the third machine would be in the University Recreation Center.
The Dream Machine is a recycling machine that gives students incentives to recycle with coupons for local businesses. The Dream Machines will be brought to campus as a pilot program, Whitworth said, to determine if they are suitable for TCU and if there are enough staff and student organizations to maintain them.
Whitworth said he was very excited to have the Dream Machines come to campus. He said it was a long, arduous process, including multiple meetings with PepsiCo and Waste Management representatives, to get the machines on campus.
“We’ve had multiple meetings with staff internally and with PepsiCo representatives and Waste Management representatives, looking at all of the various issues that could possibly occur with these machines,” Whitworth said. “We’ve thoroughly investigated it and researched it.”
The Physical Plant had the most questions about the machines regarding maintenance and service, Whitworth said. Two PepsiCo representatives came to campus to properly answer those questions.
Whitworth said maintenance on the Dream Machines is not difficult and requires the emptying and reloading of the trash bags used to collect the recyclables. Once the recyclables are emptied from the machine, they are taken to Waste Management recycling dumpsters.
“It’s not a difficult process to empty them and ready them for use,” Whitworth said.
He said an interesting aspect of the machines is that when one starts getting full, it sends an email to the contact person saying the machine needs to be emptied soon.
Whitworth said he thought there was potential for more Dream Machines on campus in the future. There have been discussions of having one by the GrandMarc, he said.
“If it works in several dorms, it’d probably be a great idea to have them in multiple dorms,” he said.
Whitworth said the PepsiCo representative, Chris Weber, wrote in an email to Whitworth he had not received the contract from TCU for the Dream Machines yet. After asking about the contract, Whitworth said he found the contract needed to be signed by Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs Don Mills before being sent to PepsiCo. Whitworth said he hoped it would be signed on Wednesday and be sent so the Dream Machines can come to TCU from Colorado.
Whitworth said he is excited about the pilot project and that he hoped it would generate student interest. He said he hoped the Dream Machines will support TCU’s efforts towards sustainability.