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The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

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Filling stations add up on campus

 
 

Amidst the much-anticipated reopening of the Memorial Student Center this past year was the quiet addition of a simple and ecofriendly system: the water bottle filling station.
Easy to install and wide-reaching in impact, these stations are increasingly in high demand as the their popularity among students prompts a widening growth around campus.
Students are really clamoring for [the stations], said Carol Binzer, director of administrative and support systems at Texas A&Ms Department of Residence Life. The MSC reopening sparked a lot of interest and weve been trying to keep up with demand ever since.
The first eight water bottle filling stations seen as water fountain attachments in buildings such as the MSC and the rec center opened on campus during the fall 2011 semester and interest began to gather as students realized their value.
I think theyre fantastic said Ana Chang, freshman biomedical engineering major. Its so much more convenient to use them than water fountains. I personally dont like the tap water taste [in College Station], so being able to drink filtered water without having to go out and buy bottled water is great.
While the filling stations have existed in several campus buildings for almost a year, their debut in on-campus housing has received a lot of support.
Mosher was the first [residence hall] to put one in last summer, Binzer said. There was no advertisement, yet the station performed 30,000 fills in just two months.
This popularity and the positive impact these stations have on the environment has caused the Department of Residence Life to make an effort to install a refilling station in as many residence halls as possible.
Our goal is to get at least one station in each building, Binzer said.
One of the ways a residence hall can have a station installed is through the Sustainability Challenge. Started five years ago, the challenge gives residence halls the opportunity to earn points through utility conservation, namely through efficient use of laundry, recycling and other initiatives.
Interested students do not need to wait for the next Sustainability Challenge for a chance to have a filling station installed. Binzer said that as water fountains need to be replaced, they are being replaced with the filling stations.
Water bottle filling stations are paid for by the Aggie Green Fund, a student-run conservation fund approved by the student body in the spring of 2010. Stations are installed on existing water fountains. It costs about $1,200 to install and each $100 filter is good for 30,000 refills. Users can see how much waste has been avoided from plastic bottle consumption by looking at the display screen above the filter.
In addition to environmental conservation, a filling station holds importance in other areas as well.
[Filling stations] have really cut down on the amount of money spent on refilling the vending machines with new water bottles, saving both the school and students money by offering a reusable option instead of having to buy new every single time, said Bradley Gaulden, member of the Aggie Green Fund Advisory Board. It has brought a sense of awareness that water bottles are a huge contributor to waste and that by refilling your own bottle, you are doing a small task that really has a huge benefit.

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