UR recycling reaches a record high, as the rate for the 2011 calendar year was calculated at 38.2%. The recycling rate increased by 9.6% since 2009. In 2011, we recycled and reused 5,508 tons of material.
Recyclemania 2011 successfully results in recycling 91 million pounds of material nationwide, saving 270 million metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent from being released into the air. U of R places well scoring 43 out of 363 schools in the Per Capita Challenge. RecycleMania is a friendly competition and benchmarking tool for college and university recycling programs to promote waste reduction activities to their campus communities. Over an 8-week period each spring, colleges across the United States and Canada report the amount of recycling and trash collected each week, and are ranked in various categories based on who recycles the most.
2011 graduates wear caps and gowns made from 100% recycled plastic, saving approximately 34,000 plastic bottles from waste.
Third Annual Move-out Cleanout collects 1,745 pounds of non-perishable food for the Open Door Mission of Rochester, and 7,930 pounds of gently used clothing. The Cleanout is a facilities-run operation which serves to collect any unwanted clothes, non-perishable food items, and electronics that students may have and wish to discard in the process of moving out of their dorms at the end of spring semester.
Expansion of recycling program to now include plastics #1 through #7 and more.
Hazardous Waste Management Unit continues to help dispose of harmful materials. Check out some guidelines.
Donating over 200 shoes to Nike’s Reuse-a-Shoe program.
Personal Documents Round-up successfully recycles 12,390 pounds of paper. The event was held over the summer and facilitated the recycling of personal documents for affiliated students and staff. With over 6 tons of paper was recycled, the event equivalently saved approximately 100 trees.
Fourth Annual E-cycle day collects 31,482 pounds of electronic waste. Throughout the day employees and students brought in their old personal computers, printers, fax machines, and other unusable electronic devices were loaded onto pallets and sent off to be recycled by Brockport based e-recycling company, Sunnking. The event was held in order to prevent material waste, energy waste, and avoid the leakage of harmful, toxic chemicals from cast-off electronics into the ground and water supply.
Participates in the EPA’s WasteWise Game Day Challenge to recycle waste at football games, successfully diverting 66.4% of waste away from landfills. The Game Day Challenge is a friendly competition for colleges and universities to promote waste reduction at their football games. This Challenge is an initiative of EPA’s WasteWise program.
34 new outdoor recycling receptacles are installed across the Medical Center’s campus, promoted by the University Council on Sustainability. The Victor Stanley Ironsite recycling containers placed around campus are made out of approximately 98% recycled content steel. The durability of steel ensures that the containers will last for many years, unlike some plastics, making them an even more sustainable option.
Engineers for a Sustainable World (ESW) participate in a recycling program with Terracycle, a free waste collection program that turns the waste into sellable products such as backpacks and folders, available at major retailers such as Whole Foods Market. Three collection bins, intended specifically for hard-to-recycle items such as candy wrappers and cookie packages, have been set up in Wilson Commons. Engineers for a Sustainable World hand over what is collected to Terracycle, transforming waste into value.
Anderson & Wilder Towers receive Energy Star Certification. Energy Star is a governmentally supported program that helps individuals and businesses to protect the environment through energy efficiency. In order to qualify as Energy Star certified, the building must receive a ranking of 75 out of 100 or higher. A total of only 76 dorms in the US have earned Energy Star awards, making the Towers’ awards commendable.
UR sustainably constructs the Clinical and Translational Science Building (CTSB), recording an overall recycling utilization rate of 60.3 percent in February 2011. The majority of these recycled materials included 371 tons of asphalt and almost 50 tons of concrete.
Saunders Research Building is constructed while diverting 75% of waste away from landfills. It will be the first building at the University to formally receive LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certification. It includes a porous pavement system with an underlying drainage system that directs storm water runoff to a rain garden. The heating and cooling system makes use of Heat Wheel technology, which takes heat released from the exhaust side and transfers it back to the supply side, instead of being wasted and released outside.
Over 1,200 total staff and students have taken the GoGreen pledge since its inception in 2009.
Earth Day 2011 is celebrated with planting at the UR microfarm and cleaning the Genesee River with the Gandhi Institute.
Facilities Materials Management reduces paper consumption by 20% making the switch from paper records to electronic records.
Continued the EcoReps program for interested first-year students who wish to combine their living experience with sustainability efforts and education on campus.
Cindy Ebinger Seismologist and volcanologist from the University of Rochester participates in a two-year survey to collect scientific measurements for benchmarking hazards threatening biodiversity in Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of Congo.
University of Rochester's Open Letter Books announces the launch of a new ebook series for international literature.
Students participate in Mt. Trashmore, a waste reduction awareness event. During the day, students hauled out all the trash that was collected from inside of Rush Rhees Library, Frederick Douglas, and Wilson Commons and then placed it into a big heap in front of Wilson Commons. By evening, the pile offered an enormous visual reminder to all passersby of how much waste is produced on a daily basis.
University now offers a minor in sustainability. The goal of the minor is to provide a curriculum that encourages students to learn to communicate and to solve problems of societal relevance that straddle disciplinary boundaries in sustainability and global change.
University holds EcoPalooza, sponsored by EcoReps, an event which put together fun activities to raise environmental awareness. The event included a “no-power” open- mic, a feature of the event which allowed musicians, singers, and bystanders alike to come and enjoy playing music together as a communal experience. There were also “recycled crafts,” including pinecone bird feeders, and DIY jewelry, made from old flyers and recycled paper.
UR Green News launches its first edition in January of 2012. UR Green News is a biweekly newsletter about sustainability and the environment at the University of Rochester. It aims to keep everyone updated on the latest green initiatives on campus, achievements in sustainability, and people who are contributing to the change.
University of Rochester joins Tree Campus USA program, which recognizes excellence in campus tree management, as well as student and community involvement. Tree Campus USA is a partnership of the Arbor Day Foundation, which recognized the Univeristy of Rochester for its commitment to the planting and maintenance of trees on campus.
“Teaching Environmental Health to Children: An Interdisciplinary Approach” is a new novel authored by Warner School of Education’s current Professor David Hursh and alumnae Camille Martina ’05 (PhD) and Hillary Davis ’84 (EdD), as well as Professor Michael Rush of Johns Hopkins Center in Urban Environmental Health. The book provides a view of how schools can educate children about everyday toxic materials that pollute the environment, and how students can reduce the health risk for themselves and those around them.
A new environmental study abroad program in the Galápagos Islands is introduced in the Fall semester of 2011. A variety of study abroad opportunities for students interested in environmental issues are surfacing through IES (International Education of Students). Students can travel to the Galápagos Islands to study evolution, ecology & conservation, marine ecology, or politics & the environment.
The Green Dandelion Blog continues to regularly publish articles on environmental sustainability at the University of Rochester, provided to you by Facilities & Services.
The Green Food blog, dedicated to examining dining at the university, continues its expansion.
University of Rochester engages in pilot Farm to School program with Headwater Foods to receive fresh produce from local farms. Around 1000 cases of frozen regionally-grown vegetables have been distributed between the University of Rochester and the Harley School. The Good Food Collective website and blog details latest information on fresh local foods.
UR Microfarm continues to provide fresh produce to the Meliora restaurant on campus. The microfarm is a student-run nonprofit organization housed by the Gandhi Institute for Nonviolence. The goals of the microfarm are to promote sustainability, be an academic resource and promote positive community interactions.
New Rainforest Alliance Certified coffee vendor Ecoverde on campus uses completely bio-degradable and compostable packaging.
Danforth Dining Hall is renovated with 75% of the total waste material diverted back to the manufacturing process, recycling 100.95 tons of material. It now uses energy-saving LED lighting, and chairs made from recycled coke bottles to promote sustainability.
Dining at the university continues to enjoy an array of sustainability practices, from promoting reusable mugs & containers to using leftover grease from Danforth to help create biofuels.
The university continues making transportation sustainable by adding two new fuel-efficient 2012 Ford Focus cars to its Zipcar Lineup. Further, the UR also provides carpool programs, shuttles, and other hybrid vehicles for use.
Students and staff can now use their NetId to borrow bicycle using a new online borrowing system implemented by City Cycles, making it even easier to reduce our carbon footprint.
“Solar Dok”, a solar powered charging station, is installed adding to current green initiatives on campus. Placed outside of Meliora Hall, the Solar Dok is a self-sustaining solar powered charging station that houses four standard electrical outlets, two USB outlets and an LED lighting system for nighttime use. Designed and fabricated by EnerFusion, Inc., the Solar Dok gives the campus community the opportunity to charge laptops and cell phones with green energy.
Two more solar compactors are now installed on campus, bringing the total up to four. Solar compactors are named for the technology that powers them. Relying on solar panels on the top of the unit, these dual function systems compact trash and collect recyclables. Using about as much energy per week as it takes to power a light bulb, they compact as many times as needed, holding up to five times more trash than normal bins, and requiring less frequent emptying.
World Record in Solar Conversion is set by UR Optical Engineering Team led by Professor of Optical Engineering Duncan Moore, achieving a light-to-electricity conversion efficiency of 38.5. The team collaborated with DuPont, a science-based products and services company. Professor Moore points out that efficiency percentage is important but not enough – a process to drive down the production cost must be found as well. Congratulations to the team!
Tiernan dormitory wins the Sustain-a-bowl contest. Student sustainability group Grassroots hosted the Sustain-A-Bowl competition, which is a race between residence halls to save the most energy over the course of about a month.
Center for Environmental Initiatives (CEI) announces the University of Rochester as winner of the 2011 Hugh E. Cumming Environmental Quality Award for making “a significant contribution to environmental protection, improvement or education in the Rochester-Genesee-Finger Lakes Region.” CEI honored the many efforts of the University of Rochester overseen or coordinated by Amy Kadrie, UF&S Recycling Coordinator. CEI is an organization working for environmental protection and enhanced quality of life in the Greater Rochester and Finger Lakes region through education, collaboration and informed action.
The University of Rochester receives the 2011 WasteWise Gold Achievement Award for Public Education and Outreach. According to the EPA, UR made an enormous effort to promote waste reduction practices and was actively involved in several recycling initiatives. The university effectively utilized online social networking tools, posters, fact sheets, articles, student group initiatives, and university staff and faculty to encourage participation in events and campaigns, including RecycleMania, the Go Green Pledge, Earth Day, Water Week, and E-Cycle Day. In all, UR’s education and outreach efforts helped the university recycle nearly 3,400 tons of materials, resulting in a reduction of more than 8,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent. The university also saved more than $230,000 in 2010 through recycling revenues and avoiding disposal costs.
The New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) recognizes the University of Rochester with a High Performance Building Plaque for energy-saving investments that will reduce energy costs by a combined $167,000 annually.
University of Rochester improves its sustainability score, receiving an A- from greenreportcard.org. The university has realized a 15 percent reduction in greenhouse gas emissions since 2005, and further spends 36 percent of its food budget on local items.
U of R wins Department of Environmental Conservation’s (DEC) Environmental Excellence Award for 2011. The DEC recognized organizations for innovative and environmentally sound projects at the 8th Annual New York State Environmental Excellence Awards ceremony. The university was commended for preventing nearly 95 metric tons of CO2 emissions annually, reducing electricity use by more than 6.5 million kWh, saving nearly 8 million gallons of water and diverting almost 4,000 tons of waste from landfills.
UR makes the Princeton Review’s annual green college list, selected from a pool of over 2,000 schools. The Princeton Review's Guide to 311 Green Colleges profiles 308 institutions of higher education in the United States and three in Canada that demonstrate a strong commitment to sustainability in their academic offerings, campus infrastructure, activities, and career preparation. The 220-page guide is the only free, comprehensive, annually updated guide to green colleges.