Waste Audit Results from Convocation


At convocation this semester, we analyzed the waste generated from our event—here is the WHY, the HOW IT RELATES TO US, and the (most important part) WHAT CAN YOU DO of it all…


Over the summer several of us were able to attend the California Higher Education Sustainability Conference (CHESC) at CSU Fullerton. This week long conference is where sustainability teams from colleges & universities from all around our state come together to share how they have gotten green practices to work for them saving money, energy, making dents in food insecurity, social justice, and especially (from my own perspective) recycling/diversion.

There is of course a photo gallery that you can take a look at:

Once the conference was wrapped up, several of us attended a WASTE AUDIT training where we:

  1. weighed all of the food, recycling, trash bags from this week long event
  2. put those numbers into a spreadsheet
  3. tore the bags apart, re-sorted everything correctly
  4. re-weighed everything—and put those numbers back into the spreadsheet to analyze percentages and make recommendations

The results were surprising, to say the very least. We found at their event, there was so little actual trash that next year they won’t even have garbage cans out as they were just used incorrectly with only 64lbs of 776.5lbs being truly landfill for a 92% diversion (from landfill) rate!

 Pictured above is ARC’s Ashley Kwan & Frankie Johnson during a waste audit training session that we performed on the trash generated from this week long event.

Pictured above is ARC’s Ashley Kwan & Frankie Johnson during a waste audit training session that we performed on the trash generated from this week long event.

Overheard during that session: “It all gets weighed, it’s our job to try and get as much of this stuff on to the cheaper end of the scale as possible.”


Some time ago, a bill (AB 341) was passed that mandates business’ our size divert 75% of our waste stream away from the land fill, which means we need to be sending ¾ of what we generate to the recycling bins, the food waste bins, the (broken down) cardboard bins, and the grass/tree trimming bins – instead of the garbage cans.

2016 Fall Convocation Waste Audit Spreadsheet

2016 Fall Convocation Waste Audit Spreadsheet

That spreadsheet (2016 Fall Convocation Waste Audit Spreadsheet) is pretty pretty similar to what we are seeing campus-wide as shown in the pie chart below:

2015 ARC Diversion Rates

For comparison, the entire UC system has pledged statewide to work toward 100% diversion. That’s right, ALL of the UCs are working toward becoming ZERO-WASTE campus’ and as you can see from that CHESC event, the work to get there is paying off.

The models are in place, working, and they are eager to share with us (and everyone) how they got there.


Get involved / stay informed / share recycling practices with your office at the next department meeting / let us know you need a recycle bin / ask questions / choose recyclable or compostable products and then recycle them when the time comes / empty your small recycle bins into a common area larger one when they are full / ask the cafeteria to use compostable materials for your next catered event / BREAK DOWN THOSE CARDBOARD BOXES & set them next to the recycle bins / follow along with our efforts & ask questions out loud on our social media / and my favorite: sign up to get your ARC Green Office Acorn award—just as many ARC offices have.

You can find the first Acorn instructions/application/checklist on the ARC Sustainability website. By the way, the GREEN OFFICE award will be the focus of this year’s Earth Day event scheduled for Wednesday, April 19, 2017:

As always, if you have any questions about recycling, or would like to be more involved, please reach out. I hope to have more updates as time permits…and I promise they’ll be shorter. I do microblog all of our efforts to our Twitter & Facebook page, so please feel free to LIKE / Share /  Comment / Retweet / follow along to your heart’s extent.

Thank you all for your time.

Don Reid, Supervisor Printing Services
ARC Sustainability Committee, Chair

ARC Green Office Committee, Chair
ARC Tree Campus Advisory Committee, Chair
ARC Buildings Grounds & Safety Committee, Campus Sustainability Representative


Sustainability report given to the Los Rios Board of Directors

sustainability los riosTo see this 15 page PDF, scan this QR-Code with your smartphone, or follow this link:

In April, this report was given to the Los Rios Board of Directors. Click on the link below and you’ll find quite a number of efforts happening across our 4-college district. Did you know that every new building is built to LEED Silver specification? And that we have 2 LEED buildings with a 3rd coming soon?

From this report:

  • “The District is committed to the US Green Building Council’s LEED standards. While we have only officially certified two buildings – the CRC Winn Center (LEED Platinum) and the Davis Center Phase 1 (LEED Silver), and are in the process of certifying a third (the Davis Center Phase 2 (LEED Silver) – because of the high cost associated with “official” LEED certification, we have required all our new facilities be designed and built to LEED Silver equivalency. In order to achieve this, we require our design teams to demonstrate that they have achieved the Silver level by scoring between 50 to 59 points on the LEED certification checklist shown below.”

Screen Shot 2016-06-07 at 12.28.36 PM

There is a lot of information in this report that might be of interest to you, so please take a moment to read it over and share it with others. What did you find in it that you weren’t aware of? What did you find that you have questions about?

Bigbelly solar powered trash compactors that email Maintenance when they’re full!

2016 ARC Trees
This Bigbelly solar powered trash compactor really does email the Maintenance Department when it’s full! These recycle stations were purchased with matching funds from ARC Administration & the ARC Student Senate. There were two purchased to test out — you can find one on the West side of the Administration Building, and the other on the South-West side of the new Student Center. A great big thank you to our students for their investment into our campus!

For more information on these bins on their Facebook page & other sources at

or by visiting them, if you are ever in Massachusetts:

    150 A Street, Needham Heights, MA // (781) 444-6002

2016 ARC Trees
Bigbelly transforms the way organizations manage waste & recycling, while saving time, fuel and money and beautifying their public space.

2016 update…

Filtered Water Bottle Refill Stations…

By now, you may have noticed that there are some new retrofitted or entirely replaced FILTERED WATER BOTTLE REFILL STATIONS here on our campus. This initial install of 6 units is phase 1, which happened over the break. This came about from an award of money from the American River College Associated Student Body Student who put $20,000 towards putting these in. Phase 2 will be coming soon which will bring us to approximately 10-12 finished units!


I just want to send a big thank you to our amazing students for their investment into our campus!! This will go a long way in reducing the number of water and soda bottles from our land fill stream, which because of Assembly Bill 341, we are mandated to reduce our land fill stream by 75% by the year 2020.

Earth Day update…

This year’s theme of #UPCYCLE has us planning for some very interesting booths! We will have our #UPCYCLED recycle bin on display with student artwork being showcased, as a variety of fun interactive activities as well as informational demonstrations. Your donation of:
Empty cereal boxes & newspaper
Old or broken jewelry / buttons / etc…
Gently used clothing & books to participate & supply a trading post
White elephant gift exchange
We are really looking forward to seeing you out there—our Trading Post is sure to be a big hit, so please mark your calendars and stop by inside the Student Center on Tuesday April 19th and then again on Wednesday, April 20th to celebrate Earth Day out in front of the Library. For photos from last year’s event, click here.



A couple of things to remember here at ARC:
Your toner cartridges, light bulbs, batteries and aerosol cans should never be disposed of to our land fill stream—bring those items in to Printing Services for collection. We send them over to the Maintenance Department where they are sorted and disposed of properly.
Be sure to help out our Maintenance staff by emptying your small, under the desk bins into a larger one when it gets full. It’s been brought to my attention that this will go a long way in ensuring our recycling efforts will be carried out as expected.
For a complete list of items that are recyclable, take a look at our signs!


Tree info…

Some information regarding upcoming scheduled maintenance of some of our urban forrest…One of our contractors will be doing some work at ARC on Friday, April 8th.
They are going to prune all the tree limbs that are within four feet of the library walls
They are removing the remaining cherry tree in the lawn in front of Tech Ed
They are pruning the eucalyptus in horticulture area
And cutting up the fallen oaks on the creek road and grinding one additional stump in that area
We will also be hearing from them on the status of the large heritage oak next to Davie’s Hall.

I’ll be visiting our other heritage oak later this week (click here to see it on our SustainabilityARC Facebook page) and will have more information on that project once I can talk to the mill where it is being stored. Our first project will be two new podiums to replace the existing particle board ones that get used.

Thank you for reading this over. If you have any questions / suggestions or would like more information, please do not hesitate to reach out.

Don Reid, Supervisor Printing Services
ARC Earth Day, Co-Chair
ARC Green Office, Program Chair
ARC Campus Tree Advisory Committee, Chair
ARC Buildings Grounds & Safety Committee: Campus Sustainability & Campus Tree Advisory Committee Representative

Save the date // Earth Day 2015!

Earth Day at American River College


Please mark your calendars for the next Earth Day at American River College!! This year, we’ll be celebrating it on Wednesday, April 22.

ARC’s own Technical Education Department’s will be out with their Alternative Fuel Vehicle Program being highlighted. On display will be the City of Sacramento with some of it’s compressed natural gas (CNG) vehicles. Their work recently won our region the title of greenest city fleet in America! Regional Transit will be bringing one of their CNG buses.and Waste Management, and more. SMUD will be showcasing their latest info & technology that is sure to shape the way emerald valley that Sacramento is shaping up to be. This, and much much more.

If you weren’t able to attend last year’s event, feel free to take a look at some photos Don Reid was able to capture for our ARC Sustainability Facebook photo gallery page. Be sure to click on the LIKE & SHARE buttons to help spread the word.