2019 Earth Day Logo

ARC Earth Day 2019

2019 Earth Day Logo

I’m working on our upcoming Earth Day Celebration here at American River College and I wanted to extend an invitation to each of you to host a free table to share the sustainability efforts of your department or for any green artists or businesses you might be involved with and/or any suggestions for others you may have! We’ll be celebrating Earth Day on: 

Wednesday, April 24 from 8 am – 3 pm

This year’s theme is a little different, REPAIR & REUSE—two of the six R’s of recycling (Reduce / REUSE / Recycle / REPAIR / Rot / Refuse). As we go about developing our strategies to meet ARC President Thomas Greene’s goal of ZERO WASTE BY 2025, we will be looking at the three distinct areas to focus our efforts on:

  1. Upstream: Where we affect product or packaging by a manufacturer that supplies items to our college
  2. Middlestream: Where we extend the longevity of the products used by repairing, reusing, repurposing, refurbishing, donating, and recovering—like food
  3. Downstream: Where we maximize the recovery of resources from our discarded items by sorting and diverting from land fill…aluminum can goes here, food waste goes there, and as a last resort land fill goes ‘away’.

It’s the MIDDLESTREAM that we’d like to highlight this year—extending the life of the items around us! How frequently we buy things affects the amount of material to be managed in our waste streams. By changing consumption expectations, and by extending the life our products, we can reduce the amount of downstream efforts needed to meet our goals.

We’ll of course be once again highlighting ARC’s Fine & Applied Arts Department with our upcycled recycle bins being assembled and reconditioned by our Student Veteran’s Club, booths from our ARC Environmental Studies, Electronics & Automotive Departments, your STRIPE booth, and hosting an e-waste drop off …but this year, I’m going to be inviting people who have probably never been asked to join in on this type of event: local businesses like sewing machine, vacuum & appliance repair shops in our area!

You can find photos from our previous Earth Day Celebrations on our social media outlets here—we’ll of course be having photographs captured for you to share on your social networks this year as well:

If you are interested in tabling at our event, please fill out our online application and someone from my team will get back in touch with you. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me directly—thank you for your consideration.

Don Reid
Earth Day Celebration, Chair

Fall 2018 Convocation

First off, welcome to the Fall Semester—can you believe it’s about to begin again! This summer has been a busy one here at ARC, bringing us 15 new solar trailers & a third wave of 32 new blue/black recycle stations. If you’d like more info on those, scroll down and check out the post just before this one!! This post is my regularly scheduled plea to encourage all Convocation attendees to consider:

  • If you are a coffee drinker, there will be coffee—bring your own reusable coffee mug
  • A reusable water bottle that can be filled up at the Elkay filtered water bottle refill station located in the atrium of the Student Center. There are 14 of these now to choose from here at ARC
  • Avoid using the non-recyclable black plastic plates & forks—bring your own reusable lunch-ware/fork
  • Skip the straws—they are never recyclable
  • Separate your waste correctly and avoid contaminating our recycle waste stream with food items to increase the chances of keeping those separated items out of the land fill

Convocation Waste Audit:
Call for volunteers…

We’ll be doing another waste audit out in front of the Student Center once convocation is over and I could use some volunteers; so, if you have a couple of hours on this very busy day to see how well everyone sorted our trash/recycling/food waste, please hit reply and let me know. I am trying to get a representative out here from Waste Management, not only to help us out, but to hold a discussion about their response to China’s new rules regarding recycling that you have undoubtedly been hearing about in the news.

Many of you have reached out to me with questions about China’s National Sword Policy and how we are going to address the changes brought in by the rule changes as far as recycling goes. While there is a lot of work going on right now by our haulers to find new waste streams around the world, the bottom line is WE ALL need to work harder on the most important R of the four R’s—REDUCE. Eliminating single use plastics, especially the ones that go straight to our landfill will become more and more important this year; as will rinsing off and drying your recyclables.

REDUCE, Reuse, Recycle & Rot…

According to Waste Management (ARC’s waste hauler):

  • Paper and cardboard must be dry and free of food debris.
  • Tissues, paper towels or other paper that has been in contact with food is not acceptable.
  • Make sure food contamination and caps are removed from cans and plastics and all containers are empty.
  • Separate plastic lids from plastic bottles (often made from different materials).
  • Do not place medical waste (needles, catheters or lancets) into the recycling containers.


It’s going to be more and more important that we understand the specific needs of our waste haulers, and that requirements vary depending on their capabilities/equipment/policy. Be sure to check in with your waste hauler if you haven’t recently as they are all making changes and they are all emphasizing the need to stop the ‘WISHFUL RECYCLING’ of items that CONTAMINATE the waste stream.


Waste not generated is waste we won’t have to dispose of. Please consider doing your part in source reduction where ever you can. If you’d like to discuss this further, or have ideas for your own department that you’d like help implementing please feel free to reach out. The only way we are going to meet our state’s diversion mandates & our president’s zero-waste goals is by having everyone here evaluate & look for opportunities to improve how they handle their trash.

Don Reid

DC Solar trailers coming soon to ARC

July 2018 update

Happy July everyone!

As I go over my calendar, July is looking to be a very busy month on the ARC Sustainability front and so I wanted to put an email out to share some information about a couple of projects that we’ve been working on that are sure to get people talking.

More Recycle Bins for ARC

Late in 2017, the Student Senate agreed to match funding from our Administration for the purchase of 32 new Max-R recycle stations, and they are scheduled to arrive mid-July. These bins will go a long way in increasing the amount of waste that we are able to divert from our landfill waste stream and I can’t wait to get these out for our students, staff & faculty to be able to use. With this batch, we’ll even finally be able to get some bins over to our Natomas & McLellan Centers.

DC Solar Trailers Arriving!

If you were able to make it out to either of the past couple of Earth Day Celebrations, you may have noticed the rather large solar trailers that were out there. On July 18, DC Solar will be bringing us almost $3,000,000 worth of solar trailers as part of a grant and they will not cost us anything. These trailers all have solar panels that charge a set of batteries and come with a gas-powered generator in case the need is there with no sun. That means that each of these will also have the capacity to be emergency power that we can tow to anywhere, should the need arise.

They come configured three different ways:

  1. With picnic benches that have outlets in the middle powered by the solar panels for students to work on and charge their devices. We’ll be putting one in the middle of Portable Village, one in the Computer Math Complex, and one down next to the stadium.
  2. Another configuration: as an EV car charging station. We’ll be putting one of these next to the Tech Ed area, and a couple more in the parking lots on the North & South end. We’ll also be placing one of these at our Natomas & SRPSTC parking lots.
  3. and finally, with two adjustable telescoping LED light towers. We’ll be putting a number of these along the creek walkway in an effort to get some light out there as well as be able to light up the fields.

California Higher Education Sustainability Conference (CHESC)

CHESC is a yearly conference where UC Berkeley, UCLA, Stanford, Cal Poly, etc… come together to share best practices, and I can’t wait to see what ideas they have for us to bring home to ARC.

This year’s CHESC will be held at UC Santa Barbara, and I’ve been asked to be a speaker to talk about ARC’s diversion efforts. I’ll be highlighting the great work that is happening over in our Hospitality Management program & our Aramark run cafeteria where they are diverting food waste from their land fill waste stream in great numbers. Food waste is heavy and pulling that from our landfill stream is sure to get us closer to the 75% diversion mandates as set by AB 341, and on our way to meet President Greene’s commitment to get to zero-waste by 2025.

I’ll also be bragging about our amazing student art covered recycle bins! This project has many hands involved, and I’d like to thank all of the student artists (many are part of the ARC Art Club) that have taken the time to make it happen. This wouldn’t work without our amazing faculty from FAA, Patricia Wood & Sarah Mattson—they have been instrumental in ensuring this project continues by making these panels part of their class.

I’d like to give a great big ARC thank you to the TRiO SSS Veterans Program At American River College. Without their help on Earth Day, those art panels would just be sitting in my office. Throughout the Earth Day Celebration, they dismantled, cleaned spiders out, stripped, sanded, repaired & painted us an additional 4 bins—we now have 9 on our campus with more to come!

California Resource Recovery Association (CRRA)

And finally, on Saturday, July 28, I’ll be representing ARC at the CRRA awards ceremony at their 42nd Annual Conference & Tradeshow in Oakland where I’ll be accepting their “Outstanding School Recycling Program” award. We had the CRRA Executive Director out to our LRCCD Sustainability Conference in December to give a talk about what zero waste for an organization our size might look like. Here is the Prezi presentation I gave titled “ARC’s path to Zero Waste”.

Since then, we’ve been in contact about how we may get some of our folks trained and certified on zero waste concepts and apparently, she liked what we had going on so much that she submitted ARC for this award. This came as a wonderful surprise in my Monday inbox.

So, as you can see, I’m really looking forward to July and all the changes it will bring our campus. As always, if you need any recycle bins for your area, don’t hesitate to ask; and don’t forget to send us your used toner cartridges—we make money on them for these efforts!!

Don Reid, Sustainability Committee Chair

Earth Day // April 18, 2018

With President Thomas Greene’s new goal for American River College to become a #ZEROWASTE campus, we decided to make it this year’s theme: ZERO WASTE BY 2025. Please mark your calendar and save the date and consider SHARING this event with anyone you think might be able to attend.

This year, we will be showcasing an upcycle day with students from American River College Veterans Resource Center where they will be dismantling, repairing and painting up the frames from some of our old garbage cans and inserting new panels from our Fine & Applied Arts Club to get us more student-created recycle bins for our campus.

Stop by, meet some of the artists & see the story of these student created public art pieces.We’ll also have ARC Departments, local vendors & .orgs with green things to share.

For more information/questions: green@arc.losrios.edu

You can find photos from last year’s Earth Day Celebration in the photo albums on our Facebook page. Here are the links from previous Earth Day celebration at ARC:

We’ll also be celebrating Arbor Day by planting another tree with the Grounds Department mid-day, so if you have tree questions, bring them!

If you are interested in tabling at our event, please fill out our online application (https://goo.gl/9zsxE4) and someone from my team will get back in touch with you. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me directly at green@arc.losrios.edu


2018 Spring Convocation

As you may have heard, this coming Spring Convocation will be a district-wide one held here at American River College. In discussing this event at our recent Sustainability Summit, representatives from each of our four colleges talked about the possibility of making this a Zero Waste event.

In an effort to pull that monumental task off,  we were able to purchase ten portable recycle stations from ClearStream Recycling, Inc. and Cosumnes River College was able to purchase 15 which we are hoping to borrow for the day. Here is a photo of these things at a recent California Higher Education Sustainability Conference (CHESC) I was able to attend at UC Santa Barbara…

This month, we’ll be working with the folks over in Aramark to come up with signage to make it clear to all of our guests as to what goes where, and we’ll be having a waste audit once it’s all wrapped up to see how we did.

This Zero Waste goal is a big one, and one we won’t be able to pull off without YOUR help. Please keep this in mind as you dispose of your trash and separate your waste! For more information about where your waste goes, be sure to check out the ARC Operations webpage or by contacting me directly at ReidD@arc.losrios.edu.

Don Reid, Supervisor Printing Services

ARC Sustainability Committee, Chair
ARC Green Office Committee, Chair
ARC Campus Tree Advisory Committee, Chair
ARC Buildings Grounds & Safety Committee, Campus Sustainability Representative
CHESC Steering Committee, representing CA Community Colleges