Presentation on theme: "Beyond Disposal and Recycling– Institutional Perspective Erica Spiegel University of Vermont Physical Plant Department April 2007."— Presentation transcript:
Beyond Disposal and Recycling– Institutional Perspective Erica Spiegel University of Vermont Physical Plant Department April 2007
Rethinking Waste WE PURCHASE STUFF WE USE STUFF WE DISCARD STUFF RECYCLING REUSE
Need Better Decisions Upstream PURCHASEUSE In order to reduce the amount of waste, better decisions must be made upstream. DISCARD Waste generation is caused by all the decisions –-both large and small -- that are made by the thousands of individuals at all levels of the institution everyday.
Institutional Barriers & Challenges to Reducing Waste
What We Purchase KEY QUESTIONS Obstacles in Institutional Culture Culture of new & improved Decentralized purchasing It is real easy to buy stuff Increasing emphasis on food & beverage consumption in all places of our lives (classrooms, meeting rooms, cars!) Do we really need it? Lease vs. buy? Whats it made out of? Is it durable? Reusable? Refillable? How far did it travel to get here? How is it packaged? What quantity do we need? Whats the true cost? How will we dispose of it?
How We Use Stuff KEY QUESTIONS Institutional Obstacles Culture of replace, rather than repair. Preventive maintenance often lacking We are not good with sharing stuff Institution is large – one person cannot be the garbage police How much do we need to use? Are we maintaining it to extend useful life of product/equipment? Can we Refill it? Refurbish it? Are we using it up completely? Are we sharing stuff with other departments? Can we borrow from another department? Can we store leftover materials for later use?
How We Discard Stuff KEY QUESTIONS Institutional Obstacles Waste disposal is free for most departments on campus. No financial incentive to reduce waste at the departmental level. Recycling program provides tools for recycling (i.e., bins) but not all people choose to use them. Is it hazardous? Is it banned from landfill disposal? Can it be recycled? Can it be composted? Can it be donated? Sold? How do we collect it? Move it? Where does it go? What does it cost to dispose?
An institution cannot have a successful waste prevention program without cooperation by major partners within the organization: Residential Life Dining Services Business & Financial Operations Architects & Engineering Procurement Services Conferences & Events Planning Grounds & Custodial Services Athletics And many others Who are the people upstream
Opportunities and Successes in Reducing Waste
Reducing Packaging and Toxicity of Cleaning Products Custodial services uses cleaners in concentrate form reduced plastic bottle waste and deliveries to campus Dispensing system measures proper amount of concentrate to mix with water eliminated the glug glug method and overuse of chemicals Eliminated use of plastic gallon jugs. Use pouches and bag in a box instead
Going Paperless - Changing the Way We Move Information Paycheck disbursement Student grades Schedule of Courses Job Application process Reserving meeting rooms Catering request forms
Going Paperless Paycheck disbursement Eliminated all printed pay stubs and checks. Savings $15,000/year in printing costs Student grades Registrars Office stopped printing and mailing student grade reports. This eliminated 11,000 multi-part forms twice per year.
Going Paperless Reserving meeting rooms Facilities Scheduling Office eliminated the use of a 6-Part NCR paper form. Savings: 11,000 NCR forms per year. Catering request forms Catering Department eliminated use of 3-part carbon form. Savings: 4,000 forms of non-recyclable paper per year.
Institutional vs. Individual Change Important to distinguish between institutional policies & procedures and individual behaviors Institutional Procedure: Paperless Individual Choice: Whether to Print Institutional Policy: Cup Refill Discount Individual Choice: Whether to Carry Own
Erica Spiegel University of Vermont Physical Plant Department Beyond Disposal and Recycling Forum on Preventing Waste – Institutional Perspective