By Daniel Admasu, Contributing Writer
The former technical director for the department of theatre arts at Towson University received the Effectiveness and Efficiency award from the University System of Maryland’s Board of Regents Friday in recognition of his recycling program that allowed for the recovery of usable building materials the department disposed of.
Anthony Rosas created the program over 20 years ago.
He said that different types of trash such as construction waste, metal, wood and brick used to go into one dumpster. Some of the waste also came from entities such as non-Towson students & personnel.
“We had a 30-yard roll-off dumpster on the loading dock when I started at Towson, and everything that we didn’t use or wanted to get rid of just got thrown in that dumpster and it went right into the landfill,” Rosas said.
He worked with the events and operations manager of the College of Fine Arts and Communication to find companies that can help recycle each kind of material.
Now, the university can put building materials, including wood and brick, into an on-campus construction waste dumpster that gets picked up by a company that sorts it and recovers usable materials.
“We couldn’t find a good outlet for recycling metal at that point, so we just started taking the metal to the scrap ourselves,” Rosas said.
Additionally, the 30-yard roll-off dumpster was replaced with two smaller dumpster bins on the loading dock: one for garbage and the other for recycling.
The theatre department also saved over $10,000 through selling old usable equipment that would have otherwise went into the landfill. Rosas said the university paid $300 every time the dumpster was emptied.
“By eliminating the 30-yard roll-off dumpster, we saved more,” Rosas said.
Rosas said that Towson’s theatre students are engaged with the recycling program. He explained that students receive a full introduction to the recycling program and this helps them make informed decisions regarding proper disposal.
“We make sure that every student that comes into the shop is aware of what we do and why we’re doing it,” Rosas said.
Ryley Gardner, an alumna of the theatre department, said that she enjoyed the recycling program.
“I learned a lot about what we could reuse more in my shop and how to also be more sustainable as a theater professional,” Gardner said. “I was learning a lot of better sustainability practices than I think that I would have been taught otherwise.”
Because he no longer works for Towson, Rosas said that Garrett Weeda, current technical director of the theatre department, and Quentin Brown, moving and storage specialist in Material Management, will help continue it.
In an email Thursday, Weeda praised Rosas’s recycling program for eliminating large amounts of waste.
“For a long time, I have felt that one of the downsides of scenic construction is the amount of waste produced and I’m proud to be a part of a program that has done something to help minimize that waste,” he said. “It is interesting to hear it put as I’m ‘in charge’ of the program because Tony did such a great job developing and implementing it.”
Note: This article has been updated to clarify department titles.