Inside: Environmentalism

Georgia Tech's Recycling Kudos; Cooking Up Savings; Maine Schools Honored; Recyclemania

Georgia Tech's Recycling Kudos

The Georgia Institute of Technology has won the American Forest and Paper Association's College and University Recycling Award.

The association says that in 2007, Georgia Tech recovered more than 376 tons of paper products for recycling.

Student rooms are equipped with a 40-quart blue container to collect mixed office paper, newsprint, aluminum cans and plastic bottles.

Each occupant of the 114 academic and support buildings on campus is provided with a desk-side container to collect mixed office paper and aluminum cans. Special arrangements are made to collect and shred sensitive and confidential materials for recycling.

The campus has 24 outdoor collection sites and 11 outdoor satellite recycling stations in heavily trafficked areas. These stations accept newspaper, aluminum cans and plastic bottles.

Cardboard is collected at 54 permanent locations throughout campus. Additional dropoff sites on each side of the campus accept magazines, mixed office paper and newsprint.

Cooking up Savings

Merrimack College in North Andover, Mass., has begun using a blend of cooking oil and diesel fuel to run a fleet of maintenance vehicles.

The school says that its physical plant director, Robert Coppola, initiated the program. Used cooking oil from the college's food service operation is combined with diesel fuel, and the blend is used to run more than 20 pieces of machinery in the school's fleet.

The environmental benefits include 20 percent less diesel emissions from the college's vehicles, which have been using about 5,800 gallons of the fuel a year; some 1,200 gallons of vegetable oil are reused as fuel rather than being disposed of.

Merrimac saves the cost of having to get rid of the vegetable oil and spends less by consuming less diesel fuel.

Maine Schools Honored

Seven school systems are being recognized by the Maine Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) for taking steps toward improved energy efficiency and reducing their carbon-dioxide emissions.

Lewiston, Bath, Farmington, Thorndike, Vinalhaven, Rockland and Raymond schools are the first in Maine to complete a baseline assessment of their greenhouse gas emissions as part of the Maine Green Schools Greenhouse Gas Survey initiative.

Bath Middle School, for instance, saved more than 9,000 gallons of heating fuel during fall 2007 after installing a new burner control system.

The initiative is a collaboration between the Maine DEP's Bureau of Air Quality and the Maine Energy Education Program (MEEP).

“Through this project, we hope to provide technical assistance to Maine schools in identifying their emissions from energy use and to help highlight opportunities that will reduce schools' operational costs,” the Bureau of Air Quality says.

The state says 20 school systems are taking part in the program.

Recyclemania

Recyclemania is a 10-week contest for colleges and universities to see which campus can recycle materials most effectively. Some 400 schools took part in Recyclemania 2008, and a total of 58.6 million pounds of material was recycled. The contest tracks the largest amount of recyclables per capita, the largest amount of total recyclables, the least amount of trash per capita, and the highest recycling rate. The top 5 finishers in Recyclemania 2008, Grand Champions category:

1 Kalamazoo College, Kalamazoo, Mich.
2 Colorado State University, Fort Collins, Colo.
3 City College of San Francisco, San Francisco
4 Tacoma Community College, Tacoma, Wash.
5 University of St. Thomas, Houston

 

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