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
I went out to the SRPSTC yesterday and was shown their new retrofitted Elkay filtered water bottle refill station! They had a couple questions, and so I wanted to share the answers with everyone.
Are these filtering the water and if so, what is filtered out? The Elkay filter used in the bottle filling stations reduces aesthetic chlorine, taste & odor, particulate class I, and lead.
How do we get the filter replaced when it’s required?
Fill out a Maintenance Order request using the Maintenance Connection website, or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org (or to me directly)
The filter status light on our unit is out…what’s up with that?
Our Facilities Department has done a cool thing. They have moved the filter down from the water bottle filler to lower in the line so that the drinking water from the whole unit is filtered as well. Because of this adjustment of the filter location, the filter light is no longer in the path of being monitored by the lights. Bottom line, if there is a stream of water coming out, then the water is filtered. As the filter becomes spent, the stream of water coming out will get thinner and thinner, but it will still be filtered. If you notice the stream getting thinner, please feel free to put a workorder in to the Maintenance Connection website (or an email directly to me) to get it replaced.
Some staggering numbers based on what I pulled from the machines today…and a calculator on the Elkay website:
Bottles not purchased since installs began as of today: 332,826
Cost per bottle at vending machines: $1.75
Total savings for our students/staff/faculty if each of these were purchased in our vending machines: $582,445.50
Pounds of plastic waste not being disposed of: 13,868 pounds!!!!
Here are the numbers and locations of our existing machines, and future plans/hopes/dreams. We’ll be reaching the end of the money that was donated by our Associated Student Senate for these units, but will make every effort to move forward on Phase 3 as far as the remainder of their $20,000 will go.
Again, I want to send a HUGE thank you to the Student Senate for the gift of delicious clean pure drinking water that I know I personally enjoy every single day. If you do the Facebook thing, consider giving them a big ARC thanks & LIKE on their Facebook page, or even a quick note on paper. You can send it to the Center for Leadership & Development…I’m certain it would be well received.
P.S. While I have your attention, I’d also like to make sure everyone knows about our Toner/Light Bulb/Battery Recycle Program—please please please bring these items to one of the many drop off places around our campus. If you are unsure of where that is, just send them to Printing Services. These items should ALWAYS be diverted from our land fill stream of waste. It needs to be EVERYONE’s job to help divert as much as we can from landfills if we are to meet AB341 diversion requirements which require that by 2020 we are diverting 75% from that waste stream. We are currently at around 40% (+/-), fyi.
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:
weighed all of the food, recycling, trash bags from this week long event
put those numbers into a spreadsheet
tore the bags apart, re-sorted everything correctly
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!
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.
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
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.”
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?
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