Community College Enactus students turned an Anheuser-Busch recycling challenge
into cash by capturing third place in a national competition.
eight students and Debbie Gaspard, Business Division instructor and Enactus and
Kappa Beta Delta faculty advisor, recently accepted their $2,000 award at the
Enactus U.S. Expo in St. Louis.
Garcia of Los Angeles, Calif.; Brian Ems of Lincoln; Anh Trinh of Ho Chi Minh
City, Vietnam; Dustin Ideus of Lincoln; Nathan Klintworth of Seward; Larry
Perry of Gary, Ind.; Joe Metobo of Kisii, Kenya; and Christian Molina of
Hialeah, Fla., accompanied Gaspard and worked on the project for the past few
to a press release by Anheuser-Busch, much of the beer served in bars and
restaurants is in glass bottles. This year Anheuser-Busch wanted to know how
more glass could be secured for recycling through its Better World Project
Partnership with Enactus, a community of student, academic and business leaders
committed to using the power of entrepreneurial action to transform lives and
shape a better more sustainable world.
were really excited about this award,”
Gaspard said. “This was the first year Anheuser-Busch InBev reached out to
Enactus teams as a project partner, and we were happy to be chosen as an
initial grant winner.”
initial grant award was $1,500. As one of three finalists, the SCC student
group received an additional $2,000.
the partnership, Anheuser-Busch and Enactus
mobilized nine teams of college students across seven U.S. states to explore
and recommend new ways to approach glass recycling in bars and restaurants in
their local communities. To be selected, teams submitted a comprehensive
application outlining how they would advance a new approach to recycling at
local restaurants and bars. The projects ranged from researching and piloting
incentive-based recycling programs, local awareness campaigns and recycling
explained SCC’s project.
“We started by asking classmates working in restaurants
and bars about their recycling practices,” she said. “Very few had something in
place but were willing to start. We had employees at Risky’s, Old Chicago and
Sunrise Country Manor in Milford on our team. Our plan was to go ‘door to door’
and ask if we could help set up or improve their recycling efforts. Home Depot
on North 27th Street gave us a great deal on ‘slim jim’ bins, and a
member of our team used his veterans’ discount to purchase lids.”
February the students connected with WasteCap Nebraska, a statewide,
member-based nonprofit organization whose mission is to eliminate waste in
were developing plans with businesses on an entire city block in the Haymarket,”
Gaspard said. “Because they shared an alleyway for trash pickup, adding
recycling bins to the alley would allow all of the businesses the same access
without having to transport waste. WasteCap’s focus was compostable foods, so
the A-B InBev focus on glass worked perfectly to divert recyclables from
to Recycle Across America®, more than 28 billion glass bottles and jars end up
in landfills every year, enough to fill two Empire State Buildings every three
weeks. Localizing the project helped the SCC students better understand
recycling issues in a specific area of Lincoln.
“We weighed and transported Risky’s bottles at least
twice each week, disposing of the bottles at the city site near the Lancaster
Event Center,” Gaspard said.
place was awarded to Gulf Coast State College of Panama City, Fla. Second place
went to Pittsburg State University in Kansas.
the world celebrates Earth Day on Wednesday, Gaspard said her students will
continue their efforts to encourage additional recycling.
plan to continue working with WasteCap to get Haymarket businesses on board,”
she said. “Our next phase will be connecting nonprofits with WasteCap to
utilize Zero Hero outdoor recycling stations at public gatherings like ‘Jazz in
June’ and Juneteenth.”