Category Archives: compost

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

4th annual Los Rios Sustainability Summit // Zero Waste

If you would like solid answers to questions like,                     .
“why do we need to pay attention to recycling [diverting]?”
this summit will offer the training you’ve been looking for!

This year at our Fall Convocation, President Thomas Greene stated that he would like ARC to be Zero Waste campus by 2025. Knowing how much work that is, I thought it would be a good idea to make it the theme of our 4th annual district-wide Sustainability Summit to give some solid information & training as well as share the Zero Waste concepts as they relate to us.

I was able to attend a recent CA Green Summit downtown at the convention center where I saw a presentation from CalRecycle that focused on diverting food waste. They discussed recent legislation as well as stats and data on how businesses are doing around our state. Making greener choices in the packaging we use, and in the options available for discarding trash are key here in running a successful zero waste program, and so I am pleased to invite you all to hear from experts in this field to give us this much-needed training.

4th Annual
Los Rios Community College District
Sustainability Summit 2017

December 1, 2017
Raef Hall 160
9:00 AM – 11:30 AM

A G E N D A

Introductions & updates from the sustainability reps of SCC, CRC, FLC

Don Reidpresentation about the partnership of our
Student Senate & ARC Administration on the purchasing our new recycle stations

John Duke & Joseph Rasmussen from CalRecycle to discuss recent legislation & share
why it’s important to recycle & divert food waste

Rich Brown from BERC who provides education and performs outreach through workshops for businesses and communities regarding environmental compliance and sustainability.

Jenna Abbott from California Resource Recovery Association to talk about zero-waste concepts, as well as the certifications they offer that you can get covered with professional development funding

Questions & Answers.

 

Again, this is a district-wide event open to everyone interested. If you have been wanting to get more involved in the sustainability efforts of your campus, this would be a great way to get plugged in as representatives from the sustainability committees from all of our colleges will be here. I hope you can make it—help & involvement is needed on every one of our colleges with these efforts, for sure—especially here at ARC!

For those of you who still need Flex hours for the Fall semester,
this will be a great way to get those hours!
This event meets State PD Guideline B, ARC Strategic Goal 4, & ISOL 6.
We’ll have a sign in sheet available on the day of as you walk in the door.

This is a zero-waste event. Please consider choosing to bring in your reusable water bottle which can be filled at one of our new filtered water bottle refill stations in Davies Hall (first floor on the east & west sides).

 

Don Reid, ARC Printing Services Supervisor

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 member

Waste Audit Results from Convocation

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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…

WHY?

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.”

HOW DOES THIS RELATE TO ARC/LOS RIOS?

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.

WHAT CAN YOU DO?

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

 

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