What is Sustain Champlain?

Sustain Champlain is a campus-wide initiative strives to infuse sustainability concepts and practices across Champlain College by coordinating and promoting best practices within four areas: our institution, academics, operations, and culture.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

A letter to Champlain Faculty & Staff

Dear Colleagues,

One aspect of my job at Champlain is to track and analyze campus operations such as utility useage and waste generation. Last year was the first year tabulating our waste statistics and now with another year's data, I am happy to annouce that we are moving in the right direction! Overall, trash decreased by 12%, recycling increased by 15%, and composting increased by 154%!! The large jump in compost collection is due to the expanded collection points, primarily at the dish return in the Cafeteria.

But truly, this is not a full success story, but just steps in the right direction. Spot checks at various bins and dumpsters around campus tell me that we have a long way to go. Last year's waste sort showed that over half of what was in the trash could have been recycled or composted. And even with a reduction in trash, we are still sending the weight equivalent of 49 African elephants worth of trash each year to the landfill in Coventry, where it is buried forever. WE CAN DO BETTER!

How? The 3 R's still apply:

REDUCE: use a refillable coffee/tea mug and water bottle; don't copy or print unless necessary (and double-side when you do); buy products with less packaging; avoid single-use items, etc.

REUSE/REPURPOSE: pass along unneeded office supplies to others via Broadcast emails, etc.

RECYCLE/COMPOST: As there are many new employees at the College and many new to the area, here's the skinny on how recycling & composting works at Champlain.

We have an "all in one" system where our recyclables get sorted down the road (literally, at the MRF). Essentially, all paper & cardboard, glass, plastic bottles & containers & aluminum go in the blue recycling bins. For questions about specific items, see the detailed list. Items should be reasonalbly clean.

Last year, we expanded compost collection around campus. Bins can now be found in the Fireside Lounge, Hauke Conference Room, Jazzman's Cafe, and a few small bins in the Perry Hall kitchenette areas. We send our compostable items to a large scale facility, where they will take ALL food items (meat & dairy too), and some paper products (napkins, paper plates, etc.)

Finally, please let me know (or better yet, put in a SchoolDude request) if you are in need of more bins, different sized bins, etc.

Thank you for your efforts as we continue to reduce waste at Champlain.

~ Christina

P.S. My team and I will be reaching out to students about these same issues... these efforts involve our whole community.

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