Arkansas Tech University student Elizabeth Boone created the winning entry in a competition to design a sculpture for a new campus recycling cart.
A senior fine arts major from Greenland, Boone said the inspiration for her design was a result of time invested outdoors with her 1-year old son.
“We spend a lot of time exploring around our house, where we always find beautiful butterflies, bumblebees, spiders and insects,” said Boone. “I thought butterfly wings would be perfect for my design because they represent the beauty of nature and my passion to help Earth’s creatures thrive.”
Boone’s design was chosen during an online vote by members of the ATU community Oct. 13-15.
The sculpture design is part of a larger, multidisciplinary project by ATU students, faculty and staff representing academic programs in art, biology and engineering, the ATU Office of Facilities Management and the ATU Campus Environmental Coalition (CEC) registered student organization.
The ATU recycling program has more than 50 bins in campus buildings and is piloting a residence hall-wide program at M Street Residence Hall. The program is overseen by the ATU recycling committee and carried out by Jonathan Collins, ATU energy manager, and the ATU custodial services staff.
The campus recycling program will be supported by the new recycling art cart. The vehicle will run on renewable energy provided by a solar charging station that ATU engineering students are designing under the direction of Dr. Matthew Young, assistant professor of electrical engineering.
The proposed designs for the cart sculpture were created by ATU art students through the use of locally-collected, recyclable materials. Manami Ishimura, visiting instructor of art, guided the art students during the design process.
Dr. Douglas Barron, assistant professor of biology, chair of the ATU recycling committee and co-advisor for the ATU CEC, said the project is funded through a $10,000 grant from the Pepsi Zero Impact Fund.
“The cart will provide an eye-catching and sustainable means to transport recycling from dispersed collection bins to centralized dumpsters,” said Barron. “Ultimately, we also intend to use the cart for community outreach through parades, school visits and similar opportunities.”
Work on implementing Boone’s design will take place in the coming months. Barron hopes the cart will be ready to make its debut in time for Earth Day in April 2021.
“I feel honored to have the opportunity to bring my design into reality,” said Boone. “The fact that I get to use my design in support of the recycling program is the cherry on top of winning the competition. I also feel grateful to have such creative classmates involved in the design process. I cannot wait to get started and encourage the community to recycle.”
More information about the ATU recycling program is available at www.atu.edu/recycling.