Community focuses on CORE recycling values in Ruston

June 29, 2009

by Taylor Stephens

Adrienne Hooker, an associate professor of art, has gone from concerned citizen to group leader for the green movement in Ruston.

Hooker said she began a student group called CORE, Conservation of the Ruston Environment, to increase awareness of recycling and its benefits.

“Recycling is not just for hippies anymore,” Hooker said. “We live in a time that sustainable living is not an option. Each of us must do our part.”

Hooker said she moved to Ruston to begin her tenure at Tech three years ago. With no recycling companies nearby, Hooker said she began to research area recycling resources and eventually wrote a petition to the city of Ruston asking them to provide curbside recycling.

“Now it has developed into the creation of CORE,” Hooker said. “This group now has the challenge of changing habits on campus and getting the university population to care about materials going into the appropriate recycling bins.”

Hooker recently attended a meeting moderated by Cathi Cox, member of the Keep Lincoln Parish Beautiful Commission and the Education Commission, in Ruston about recycling.

“I love Ruston and Lincoln Parish – it has been my home for almost 50 years,” Cox said. “It is my desire that it is not only preserved, but that it positions itself as a leader among all other communities as we move into the 21st century.”

She said that the greatest outcome of the meeting was the overwhelming attendance and open dialogue that took place.

“Recycling is a major concern of mine because not only am I a concerned citizen who is focused on the future of our community, but I am a career educator,” Cox said. “I believe we must be instilling necessary practices into the lives of our young people if we are ever to achieve true reform of any kind in our area.”

Hooker said that the meeting was intended to see the level of interest by community members in a recycling center.

“The meeting was hosted by Keep Lincoln Parish Beautiful representatives,” Hooker said. “They wanted to see the level of interest by community members in a recycling center.”

Hooker said she feels the meeting increased awareness in the city and amongst parish officials about how important it is to have area resources to recycle more than aluminum, newspaper and office paper.

“Essentially the meeting got the ball rolling,” Hooker said. “We’ll see how fast it goes.”

Jenee’ Jordan, a sophomore biomedical engineering major, said she wants the recycling availability to extend to the campus.

“If we had the option of recycling bins at the bottom of stairs next to the trash cans it would make the transition smoother,” Jordan said.

With the participation of CORE, Hooker said she aims to involve as many willing participants as possible at Tech and in Ruston.

“Now is the time to change habits,” Hooker said. “It’s popular to be green and change is happening.”

Hooker said she holds expectations for students at Tech and the members of Ruston’s community.

“Get into a routine that is comfortable for you,” Hooker said. “Maybe it’s walking or riding a bike instead of dealing with parking and gas prices. Don’t just do what has been done. Question why, demand better and do what you can in the meantime.”