Víctor Campos has been part of the EARTH University team for 10 years. During the workweek, he moves around EARTH’s Recycling Center, organizing a space full of materials that have fulfilled one life and are preparing to begin another. These discarded objects from an infinite chain of use and re-use. Campos says that circularity is why he loves his work. He enjoys seeing how scrapped plastic, glass and paper can evolve into something new and useful.
For 30 years, ever since the University began its mission, environmental leadership has been a foundational pillar of the academic model, institutional values and campus operations. That is why life at EARTH’s Guácimo Campus is green, flourishing and balanced. This is achieved through the efforts of the Environmental Action Unit and the commitment of students, faculty and staff. Many thanks go specifically to Campos’s work, who is in charge of separating solid waste and collaborating with students to boost recycling efficiency.
Through the Solid Waste Management Program, EARTH promotes maximum reduction, reuse and recycling of all materials produced or used on campus. In addition, on a rotating basis, students regularly participate in the recycling process during their Professional Experience course, led by Professor Luis Gillen. These efforts are reflected in the numbers. According to Manrique Arguedas, coordinator of the Environmental Action Unit, approximately 70 tons of recyclables were processed in 2019.
“Working at EARTH is one of the best things that has happened to me. It is a solid, multicultural and ‘pura vida’ institution,” Campos says proudly. “I learn a lot from the students. I am surprised to see the energy and knowledge they have. Whenever they sort waste, they do it very carefully and always listen to the professors and staff. I like seeing them initiate projects related to recycling, reuse of materials and sustainability in their countries. It is gratifying to watch them carry home what they have learned at the Recycling Center.”
The Environmental Action Unit and the Academic Program have promoted a culture of conscientious consumption and recycling education on campus, in the surrounding communities, and across Costa Rica. Every year, hundreds of people receive training from EARTH about solid-waste management to improve environmental conditions. Advancing these educational efforts, Campos is a key player in helping EARTH attain one of its core objectives: environmental responsibility. “I want to teach people that the materials they consider waste, are actually great treasures to others,” Campos adds.
At EARTH, we celebrate people – like Víctor Campos – who live their commitment to ecological sustainability and freely share their knowledge for the betterment of all.