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Sustainability

Category Archive: On Campus

RecycleMania Week 6 Results

Welcome back from Spring Break!

We’re in our last week of RecycleMania – so let’s make it a good one! When you’re emptying out your car of any road-trip trash – remember to recycle what can be recycled! Results are in for the first six weeks and we’re hanging in there. Our paper/cardboard compactors will be emptied this week, so that tonnage will be added to our totals and will help our overall recycling numbers. Stay tuned!

 

Week (Cumulative totals)

  6 7 8 Standing
Grand Champion weekly recycling rate, %) 2013

20.43

 

 

 

2012

29.25

28.73

31.33

 

Per Capita Classic (lbs/per person) 2013

6.85

 

 

 

2012

10.52

11.62

15.17

 

Waste Minimization
(lbs/per person)
2013

33.52

 

 

 

2012

35.99

40.45

48.41

 

 

Category National Ranking: Week 6 Wisconsin Ranking (participating schools)
Grand Champion 203 out of 266 8 out of 10
Per Capita Classic 181 out of 403 9 out of 13
Waste Minimization 105 out of 180 4 out of 7
Pounds of trash generated  27,120  
Pounds of recycling collected  8,260   

RecycleMania Week 4 Results

Week 4 Results are in! We’re holding our own –  middle-of-the-pack for the most part. One thing that will boost up our overall recycling rate is when our two 42 cubic yard paper/cardboard compactors are emptied/weighed toward the end of RecycleMania. All the paper/cardboard you recycle go into these compactors (one is behind the Union and one is behind IS, in case you wondered), so those materials are not reflected in our current numbers.

Keep up your recycling and waste minimization efforts!

Category National Ranking: Week 4 Wisconsin Ranking (participating schools)
Grand Champion 195 out of 257 7 out of 10
Per Capita Classic 174 out of 335 9 out of 13
Waste Minimization 100 out of 159 4 out of 8
Pounds of trash generated 25,785  
Pounds of recycling collected 7,560  

 

 

Week (Cumulative totals)

  1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 Standing
Grand Champion weekly recycling rate, %) 2013

15.34

17.91

19.87

20.55

 

 

 

 

 

2012

20.94

20.26

20.29

20.34

29.48

29.25

28.73

31.33

 

Per Capita Classic (lbs/per person) 2013

0.87

2.04

3.389

4.62

 

 

 

 

 

2012

1.27

2.41

3.58

4.76

9.51

10.52

11.62

15.17

 

Waste Minimization
(lbs/per person)
2013

5.65

11.40

17.05

22.49

 

 

 

 

 

2012

6.06

11.90

17.67

23.41

32.26

35.99

40.45

48.41

 

RecycleMania Week 3 Results

Here’s the standings as of last Friday - Keep up those recycling and waste minimization efforts! And come by tonight’s “Go Green” women’s basketball game – booths with info and lots of recyclin’ will be going on!

 

Category National Ranking:

Week 3

Wisconsin Ranking (participating schools)
Grand Champion 193 out of 250 7 out of 8
Per Capita Classic 169 out of 402 8 out of 11
Waste Minimization 99 out of 178 5 out of 6
Pounds of trash going to the landfill   25,785
Pounds of recycling collected   7,560

 

 

Week (Cumulative totals)

  1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 Standing
Grand Champion weekly recycling rate, %) 2013

15.34

17.91

19.87

 

 

 

 

 

 

2012

20.94

20.26

20.29

20.34

29.48

29.25

28.73

31.33

 

Per Capita Classic (lbs/per person) 2013

0.87

2.04

3.389

 

 

 

 

 

 

2012

1.27

2.41

3.58

4.76

9.51

10.52

11.62

15.17

 

Waste Minimization
(lbs/per person)
2013

5.65

11.40

17.05

 

 

 

 

 

 

2012

6.06

11.90

17.67

23.41

32.26

35.99

40.45

48.41

 

RecycleMania Week 2 Results

Week 2 is in the books (or recyling center and lanfill, in this situation). Our efforts are improving but we still have a lot of room to do better. Less is more if you’re talking about recycling – less in the landfill and more in the recycling bin, so make the effort to recycle what you can! Less is less if you think about what you need to buy in the first place – have a reusable water bottle and that’s one less plastic bottle to be recycled.  It’s all about the choices you make!

The results in the tables below are cumulative – every week counts.

 

Week (Cumulative totals)

  1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 Standing
Grand Champion weekly recycling rate, %) 2013

15.34

17.91

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2012

20.94

20.26

20.29

20.34

29.48

29.25

28.73

31.33

 

Per Capita Classic (lbs/per person) 2013

0.87

2.04

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2012

1.27

2.41

3.58

4.76

9.51

10.52

11.62

15.17

 

Waste Minimization
(lbs/per person)
2013

5.65

11.40

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2012

6.06

11.90

17.67

23.41

32.26

35.99

40.45

48.41

 

 

Category Overall Ranking: Week 1 Wisconsin Ranking (participating schools) Overall Ranking: Week 2 Wisconsin Ranking (participating schools)
Grand Champion 179 out of 208 6 out of 6 185 out of 228 6 out of 7
Per Capita Classic 179 out of 208 8 out of 9 179 out of 400 8 out of 10
Waste Minimization 86 out of 136 3 out 4 97 out of 181 5 out of 5
Pounds of trash generated 29,355   28,020  
Pounds of recycling collected 5,320   7,840  

Recyclemania Week 1 Results

 

Week 1 Results are posted!

UWGB is participating in three different types of categories in this year’s Recyclemania program.  The Grand Champion category is based on the overall percentage of materials recycled on campus. The Per Capita Classic category looks at the materials recycled on campus based on our headcount to determine a pounds/person recycled. The last category we participate in is Waste Minimization, which looks at the total waste (both trash going to the landfill and materials collected for recycling) on a pounds/person basis.

The rankings in the table below show where, after Week 1, UWGB stands. The overall ranking shows our status among all the schools nationwide participating in that given category. The Wisconsin ranking shows our status among all the schools in Wisconsin that are participating in that given category.

Looks like we have room to improve in all categories! The best strategy is to consider what’s waste, what’s reusable in some manner, what’s not reusable but is recyclable (and recycle it appropriately!), and of course the ultimate, consider the purchase in the first place (no waste and no recycling to even think about!). And remember, with all the new hydration stations on campus, it’s easier than ever to eliminate the expense and waste of bottled water – just fill up your reusable water bottle – easy!

Week 2 results will be posted next Monday. Stay tuned for events happening the week of March 3rd, including an upcycling contest for textiles… 

Week 1 Results (Feb. 3 – Feb. 9)

Category Grand Champion Overall Rank Wisc. Rank
Week 1 15.342% recycled 179/208 6/6
Category Waste Min. Overall Rank Wisc. Rank
Week 1 5.655 lbs/person 86/136 3/4
Category Per Capita Classic Overall Rank Wisc. Rank
Week 1 .868 lbs/person 179/208 8/9

It’s Recyclemania Time!

Recyclemania is Back!! The goal, of course, is to both reduce the amount of ‘stuff’ we throw out in the trash by thinking before we buy AND if we do need to discard something AND it is recyclable, to put it in the appropriate recycling bin.

Recyclemania is a friendly yearly competition with other colleges and universities in North America and Canada to see who can do the best job of reducing, reusing and recycling. During the eight weeks of February 3 – March 30, we’ll be having our waste hauler record the amount of waste and recycling removed from ALL our campus dumpsters. That volume is converted to weights and entered in the RecycleMania database for all to see … and compare our progress against other schools!

In Wisconsin, the following schools are competing in RecycleMania: Carroll University, College of the Menominee Nation, Lawrence University, Saint Norbert College, UW – Madison, UW – Milwaukee, UW – Oshkosh, UW – Plattville, UW – River Falls, UW – Stout, UW – Whitewater, and Western Technical College. How will we fare against this competition?? That depends on you and your buying/recycling habits!

Stay tuned for events happening the week of March 3rd and check back here for updates on our progress and status.

Recycle Your RECHARGABLE Batteries and Old Cell Phones

Do you have some no longer recharging rechargable batteries or did you replace a cell phone over the holiday break? If so, you have a simple on-campus option to recycle both of these. Our Environmental Health office has set up a number of recycling stations around campus to drop off these items for proper recycling. Just bring in your items, place them in the provided plastic bag, and deposit in the box. Simple!

Locations to find these specialized recycling boxes are:

  • Cofrin Library, 3rd floor
  • Operations Office (IS 1204)
  • HVAC Shop (IS 1067)
  • Grounds (PP 102)
  • Environmental Health office, CL 823

Starbucks Introduces $1 Reusable Cup to Cut Down on Waste

from CNN.com; posted Jan. 3, 2013

Starting Thursday (Jan. 3), Starbucks customers will have the option to save their planet – and their wallets – a dime at a time. The coffee giant is offering $1 plastic cups, which can be reused for drink purchases at a discount of ten cents.

Jim Hanna, the director of environmental affairs at Starbucks, told USA Today that while the company has sold reusable tumblers for some time and offered the ten cent discount, he expects that the modest price of its new one, available at company-owned stores in the U.S. and Canada, will encourage customers to take action more frequently. The new effort comes largely in response to consumer criticism over the volume of paper coffee cup waste – approximately 4 billion cups globally each year – generated by Starbucks.

The responsibility section of Starbucks’ website details the company’s effort to work with vendors and local authorities to get more of its paper cups recycled, and to host recurring “Cup Summits” collaborating on the issue with industry leaders from MIT, Tim Horton’s, Georgia-Pacific and Action Carting Environmental Services. By 2015, Starbucks plans to have front-of-store recycling in all its company-owned locations.

According to a 2011 report issued by Starbucks, that year, customers used personal tumblers more than 34  million times – nearly 2% of all beverages served in global company-owned stroes. While this represented a 55% incrase in personal tumbler use from 2008′s tally, Starbucks admitted to challenges in tracking cup use both in and away from their stores, and reduced the company’s goal of 25% reusable cups by 2015 to 5%.

The reusable cups are made in China, and have fill lines inside denoting “tall,” “grande,” and “venti”-sized drinks. The cups will be rinsed with boiling water by Starbucks employees before they’re refilled, reducing the risk of cross-contamination, but a least one more challenge remains: will customers actually remember to bring them into the store?

Remember…you get a much better deal when you bring a reusable mug to the Common Grounds on campus for a cup of joe – no measly dime, but 25% off the purchase price!

Preparing for New Blooms on the Student Services Plaza

With the completion of construction on the Student Services Roof Plaza, the new planters are ready for planting….except, well, it’s the end of November! Not to be deterred, several student organizations gathered together to provide planting power for flower bulbs purchased by Facilities. On a chilly Thursday, the team from the SGA Environmental Affairs Committee, PEAC and SLO tucked in several hundred tulip and daffodils bulbs for their long winter nap. Come next spring, the triangular area under the small pergola will be the brightest spot on the Plaza.

Additional plants and landscaping will occur in late Spring in all the planters when the soil and air has warmed enough to support their establishment. In addition, SLO will be using several of the planters in the middle of the Plaza for their annual campus organic garden.  Tables and seating will also be added in the Spring helping to make this a new go-to spot for enjoying the nice spring and summer days outside.

Campus Multi-Purpose Use Area and Sustainability

As the Sustainability Coordinator for campus, I wanted to respond to student concerns regarding the tree removal and land grading activities currently underway on the three acre tract of land between the Union and Residential Life. First, thanks for caring and being interested in environmental sustainability – apathy and unwillingness to consider changing lifestyle habits are some of the biggest hurdles we face in becoming a more sustainable culture. So, thanks for voicing your concerns!

Next, info on the multi-purpose use area. Yep, it’s a shock to see the clearing of the area, that’s for sure. But there was much discussion on environmental impact of this project and how to do the project with the least long-term impact on sustainability over the two to three years this project was under consideration. I joined the Multi-purpose Use Committee last Spring which already had four other campus Sustainability Committee members participating, including student representatives, so sustainability was always an important consideration on this project.

Some of the items we considered/discussed both on the Sustainability Committee and the Multi-Purpose Use Committee included:

  • Species mix on the area  – was there anything unique or rare to be aware of? Members of the Cofrin Center for Biodiversity walked through the area to evaluate the ‘quality’ of the area and determined it was a typical mix of what you find when you allow a farm field to go ‘natural’, being colonized by the typical plants – both invasives and naturally occurring. Nothing unique that would be displaced. In fact, this area was the dump field for the soil removed in constructing the University Union. The ‘best’ trees (health and species) in the multi-purpose area were marked and saved. We’re really lucky on our campus to have so much already ‘green’ property with 300+ acres of high quality natural ecosystems in the Cofrin Arboretum, plus other native, non-mowed areas in the remaining 300 acres that makes up the rest of campus & housing. Not to lessen the impact of the 3 acres currently being re-purposed, but it certainly was a consideration in whether we could let this area be used in a different way.
  • What about carbon sequestration?  If we cut down trees, we lose their ability to sequester carbon, how do we account for that loss? We looked at other areas on campus where we could do a ‘land swap’, but there are no other intact 3 acre tracts in one chunk that would be suitable, and the ‘bang for the buck’ of carbon sequestration was low on helping lower our overall campus carbon footprint. There are many more actions each one of us can take on campus to lower that footprint – but they involve behavior change, like using Zimride and carpooling with someone once a week (for example). In addition, new plantings will be going into this space – both native trees and plant species – that will help mitigate the loss and actually potentially increase the biodiversity of the area (depending on the number/types of plants going in).
  • Trying to find the balance point: Student/Res Life saw the importance of reusing this area as an outdoor meeting place for students to gather, have events/programs, participate in various sports/outdoor activities, and generally enjoy being outdoors. As a Sustainability Committee, we do want to do what’s best for the environment but we also have a responsibility to make sure you and all future students have an opportunity to actively engage in community building activities outside the classroom or dorm/apartment, and literally in this case, outside! Given the scrubby and ‘non-special’ nature of this 3 acres, the lack of other suitable areas on campus close to academic and residential buildings for repurposing for student outdoor space, the plan to incorporate new native species plantings including tress, and the other 300+ acres of high quality natural habitat on campus, we agreed to support this project.

 Also, I encourage you to get involved in student organizations like PEAC or SLO or the SGA Environmental Affairs committee – all these orgs are actively involved in environmental and sustainability efforts on campus and certainly welcome new members.