All posts by Reidd

ARC Earth Day 2014


April 23, 2014 from 8:00 am – 3:00 pm

We are very excited to present this year’s Earth Day Celebration at American River College sponsored by the Center for Leadership & Development and The ARC Green Office Program!

American River College celebrates Earth Day 2014 on Wednesday, April 23, from 8:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. The college will offer a variety of activities throughout the day, including informational demonstrations, educational awareness, and guest organizations and partners. A highlight of the day will be a talk entitled “Climate Change Science Update, Earth Day 2014” by internationally recognized author and teacher, Robert Christopherson. Dr. Christopherson will highlight the latest global climate change science, including the dramatic changes underway in the polar regions, with recent photos and observations from his September 2013 trip to the Arctic Ocean.

This event will be held in front of the Library / new Student Center, with an e-waste recycle drop off spot in the adjoining parking lot. We’ll have alternative fuel vehicles and a ton of vendors & organizations showcasing green options.

Interested in having a booth, fill out the PARTICIPATION FORM

Save the date for this special event and feel free to click the JOIN / INVITE / LIKE / Share / re-Tweet (@SustainARC) buttons to help us get the word out.

How can you help you ask, well If you work at American River College, download your first Acorn from to certify your office as a Green Office at ARC! If you’d like to volunteer, please let us know at

You can also click the JOIN button on our Facebook page to stay updated. This event is sure to be remembered and those of us on the planning committee are very much looking forward to seeing you out there!

******ORG/VENDOR LIST******
T3 Office Recycling Solutions
Sims Recycling Solutions
Waste Management
Clean World Partners
Java City
Mohawk Paper Company
Greenwise Joint Venture
Environment CA
Glide Cruisers, USA
Park A Bike
Commerce Printing
May is Bike Month
Citizens Climate Lobby
Breathe Sacramento
Sacramento Area Creeks Council
American River Natural History Association
Effie Yeaw Nature Center
Environmental Council of Sacramento
UCD Energy Efficiency Center–Western Cooling Efficiency Center; California Lighting Technology Center
Sacramento Valley Conservancy
American River Conservancy
Urban Tilth
Center for Land-Based Learning

******AND FROM ARC******
ARC Horticulture
ARC Electronics Tech
ARC Automotive
ARC Student ECOS club
ARC Natural Resources Work Experience program interns
ARC student reps from:
– Environmental Conservation certificate & degree programs
– Arcade/Kohler creek restoration project

@ARCNewsToday @SustainARC
#LosRios #ARCEarthDay
Sustainable Los Rios | Sustainability at ARC

CleanWorld’s Bio-Digester tour with Waste Management

Article written by Cecilia Baldwin
Photography by Don Reid
ARC visits the biodigesterSACRAMENTO, Calif. – The nation’s first commercial anaerobic biodigester designed by a UC Davis professor is drawing local and global attention for uniting ecology with economy and promoting environmental stewardship.
Ruihong Zhang, a UC Davis professor of biological and agricultural engineering, has been working on the biodigester system for a decade with a pilot stage that began in 2006 on the UC Davis campus.

Zhang’s anaerobic digester technology uses natural microbes to break down organic waste and in the process generates biogas and other forms of renewable energy such as heat, electricity, natural gas, and fertilizer.

ARC visits the biodigester

The biodigester was completed on a commercial scale in April 2012 after CleanWorld Partners obtained exclusive licensing of the technology from UC Davis and implemented the system at American River Packaging; establishing proof of concept for the Sacramento South Area Transfer Station biodigester construction.

California has three biodigesters; the UC Davis campus where it produces electricity for the university, a second at the American River Packaging in Natomas which produces its own electricity and a third location at the Sacramento South Area Transfer Station.

CleanWorld Partners were awarded the International Bioenergy Project of the Year Award on Dec. 5 and were among the 13 organizations that were recognized last Wednesday with the 2013 Governor’s Environmental and Economic Leadership Award (GEELA), the state’s highest environmental honor.

ARC visits the biodigesterCleanWorld also received the “Energy Vision’s Leadership Award” for its renewable transportation fuel production and the “Game Changer of the Year Award” for job creation and economic growth efforts.

The Transfer Station’s biodigester is the largest of the three and processes an average of 25 tons a day of mixed corrugated and food waste product from the surrounding Sacramento area.ARC visits the biodigester

According to Katie Oliver, an environmental engineer for CleanWorld Partners, once the expansion is complete they expect to quadruple those numbers preventing 100 tons of food waste a day from going into local landfills resulting in fewer greenhouse gas emissions in Sacramento.

Organic waste is collected from local restaurants, supermarkets, hospitals, hotels and food processing companies to be converted into renewable energy; even big box companies like Costco, Campbell’s and Target use the facility to dispose and process their pre-consumer waste.ARC visits the biodigester

The station’s biodigester provides clean fuel to the adjacent CNG Fueling Station operated by Atlas Disposal; the fuel is then used to power waste disposal vehicles, school buses and other fleet vehicles.

CleanWorld was awarded $6 million for the biodigester’s expansion in June 2012 through the Alternative and Renewable Fuel and Vehicle Technology Program Award that was created by Assembly Bill 118.

Once the system is upgraded, “the biodigester will produce 700,000 diesel gallons per year of renewable CNG and prevent the release of 18,000 tons of CO2 into the atmosphere,” said the CEO of CleanWorld Partners, Michele Wong in a press release.

The station also “produces 8 million gallons a year of organic soils and fertilizer products for Sacramento area farms and agriculture and generates a million kilowatts of electricity to be used to power the facility and the adjacent Fueling Station,” said Michele.

“The fueling station produces the only commercially available fuel that has negative carbon intensity in the US, meaning it destroys more carbon than it creates,” said Katie.

According to Katie, the City of Sacramento is saving $1 million a year by switching from diesel to the biodigester’s transportation quality methane fuel and the remaining solid waste from the system is separated out and shipped to Davis where it becomes fertilizer sold under the brand name Ecoscraps.

ARC visits the biodigester


January 14, 2014 UPDATE:
We are still working toward a start date and have most of the pieces in place. The biodigester tour brought us all back to the table and the final details are being worked out. Look for more information to come soon!!


I’m happy to report that American River College will begin pre- and post-consumer composting in the Student Center Food Court with plans to begin over in our Fine & Applied Art’s Hospitality Management program as well! It’s our hope that this new service will be up and running during this coming semester.compost-signage-2050x1538

In preparation for this step, Aramark has moved into their new building and left all the Styrofoam containers in the Portable Village. What this means is that just about everything that comes out of there can either be recycled or composted. This effort will go a long way in helping us meet the regulations mandated by California Assembly Bill 341 which requires us to have a 75% diversion from land fills by 2020.



Attached you will find signage that will be going up. During the first week or so, we would like to have volunteers spend their lunch break helping students & staff to understand what can go into each of the bins—your help will go a long way in educating everyone of this important change. If you are interested in spending your lunch hour answering questions about trash, please feel free to hit the REPLY button and let us know!

Recycle reminder

I’d also like to take this opportunity to remind everyone that we currently recycle:

  • Batteries
  • CFL lightbulbs
  • Toner cartridges from ink jet & laser printers / office copiers / etc…

So bring those in to Printing Services and drop them off at our counter instead of putting them in the mail or worse, in to the trash. Thanks for your time.recycle-signage-2050x1538

College Hour

The Latest in Global Climate Change Science

Thursday, April 18
12:15pm – 1:15pm
Location: Raef Hall 160

Facilitator: Robert Christopherson

Author and teacher Robert Christopherson highlights the latest global climate change science from the pages of his best-selling physical geography texts, including the dramatic changes underway in the Polar Regions. See recent photos and observations from expeditions with Christopherson and his nature-photographer wife, Bobbe, who have completed twelve trips to the Arctic and Antarctic regions 2003.

The scientific consensus on human-caused climate change, the latest information from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) and other scientific reports—weather anomalies and increasing tornadoes and hurricane intensity, ocean freshening and ocean acidification, the relation of climate change and record western wildfires, losses to the Colorado River, the Greenland and Antarctic meltdowns, the 2012 record-low sea-ice extent in the Arctic, and the latest 2013 data on atmospheric carbon dioxide (and more!) highlight his illustrated talk.

LRCCD’s new Chancellor, Dr. Brian King

I’d like to take a moment to give a big welcome to our new chancellor, Dr. Brian King from Cabrillo College in Santa Cruz. In looking into the progress made on sustainability efforts under his leadership, I am very pleased to see that he is a signatory of the American College & University Presidents’ Climate Commitment (ACUPCC) agreement, which signals leadership on sustainability during his tenure there. In looking through Cabrillo’s GreenSteps website, it looks as though they have several things worth bringing to not only American River College, but to the entire the Los Rios Community College District.

It’s my hope that we’ll be able to begin developing Sustainability Committees across Los Rios similar to Cosumnes River College’s Sustainability Committee, or as Citrus College’s as outlined by the California Community College State Chancellor’s office so that we can begin working on climate action plans and meeting AB32 requirements.

Other highlights I came across on Cabrillo’s GreenSteps site include:

Because of Dr. King’s background; the strong student support we are beginning to see; the roadmap to a Sustainability Committee from the State Chancellor’s Office; the addition of sustainability language in our District Strategic Plan Goals / ARC Focus Areas (see 5.5); and our Vision, Mission & Values statement, I believe the opportunity for working

together towards a stronger green presence for all of Los Rios is upon us!

No More Plastic Bags Recap

Negligence is described as doing the same thing over and over
even though you know it is dangerous, stupid, or wrong.
Now that we know, it’s time for a change. Negligence starts tomorrow.
“Cradle to Cradle” by William McDonough & Michael Braungart


December’s #NoMorePlasticBags student temporary art exhibit brought 1,020 bags to American River College. It took 8 hours and nearly 50 people to put up.

To put those numbers into perspective, here in the US, we go through 60,000 plastic bags per second and of those, only 1-2% of them are recycled. This item is made to last about 15 minutes and yet takes 500 years to decompose. The goal of this installation was to make you think about those numbers the next time you are at the grocery store and you watch the bagger put your 6 items into 8 bags and to consider alternatives. The entire life cycle of a product needs to be factored into it’s cost. Bottom line, please consider using reusable bags when doing your shopping.

Art New Media Professor Jiayi Young’s Fall class project was to give a jump start to our Sustainability @ARC website. They came up with posters; redesigned this site to have a better flow; and the #NoMorePlasticBags event as a way to bring a large scale art project to launch it all off with. One major addition worth watching is the new Student Corner where we’ll be incorporating information from the student ECOS Club & Student Sustainability Committee as well as whatever they have to say…a centralized place for their voice.

We asked that people passing by take photos and share them with the hashtag NoMorePlasticBags so that we could find them after it was all over. The gallery below is comprised of some of what turned up. I’ve posted all of them to the Sustainability at ARC Facebook photo gallery, so follow that link if you’d like to see them in their entirety.

All in all it was a very solid day. A great big thank you to the students, staff & faculty involved in this event, some of whom are shown below.

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