Anyone who has ever wondered what happens to plastics they toss in the recycling bin will find answers in an upcoming guest presentation at the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point.
William Carroll, an organic chemist and past president of the American Chemical Society, will present “From Garbage to Stuff: How we Recycle Plastics,” at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, April 18 in Room D102, Science Building. Carroll’s presentation at UWSP is sponsored by the Central Wisconsin Section of the American Chemical Society. His presentation caps an Earth Day celebration on campus, including the annual Eco Fair on the Sundial from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Carroll will discuss the four critical steps in recycling — collection, separation, reprocessing and remanufacture — and how they relate to plastics. His presentation includes a primer in the basic kinds of plastics, how they differ and how they're used in common articles, especially packaging. Carroll brings a few common articles for demonstrations, and promises not to recycle an old quote from The Graduate.
Carroll holds a doctorate in organic chemistry from Indiana University, Bloomington, Ind. He is currently vice president, industry issues for Occidental Chemical Corporation and also adjunct professor of chemistry at Indiana. He holds two patents and has more than 65 publications in the fields of organic electrochemistry, polymer chemistry, combustion chemistry, incineration and plastics recycling. Carroll has received the Henry Hill Award, sponsored by the ACS Division of Professional Relations, the Michael Shea Award from the Division of Chemical Technicians, Distinguished Alumni Awards from both Indiana and DePauw and the Vinyl Institute’s Roy T. Gottesman Leadership Award.
April 22 is designated as Earth Day each year and it is celebrated around the world. Because that date falls on a Sunday this year, UWSP will mark Earth Day on Wednesday, April 18 to increase participation opportunities for students, faculty and staff. The lecture and the Eco Fair, which includes interactive displays and a series of short presentations on “Rethinking Recycling,” are free and open to the public.