Waste Reduction and Recyling
Submissions Due: March 8th, 2013 at 6:00pm
More details on the
timeline available on the submittal
Over 245 million tons of waste is generated annually in the United States. With the average U.S. citizen creating 4.5 pounds of waste per day, many valuable resources are accumulating in perpetually growing landfills throughout our nation. As institutions of higher education, it is our responsibility to lead the way in innovative waste reduction and recycling programs. While zero waste can be an intimidating task, this worthy goal can be accomplished by reducing, reusing, recycling, composting and purchasing practices. The path to zero waste communities is an ongoing journey among manufacturers, producers, consumers, and recyclers who participate and interact responsibly and actively. The Waste Reduction & Recycling Track seeks insight in the form of implementations, innovations and research cases that measure, define, improve, or discover new ideologies contributing to the recycling industry. Best practice nominations highlighting successful implementations of waste reduction and recycling programs or projects are also called for.
Possible Session Ideas
- Waste & Food Systems - Pre-consumer vs. post-consumer organics. Compostable vs. Biodegradeable: varieties in Food Service ware and confusion on what is really compostable. Look at educational programs that discourage leftover food.
- Waste & Green Building - WRR Requirements in GBOMR. Recording and tracking specifically items required by LEED. How to work with architects to ensure that recycling bins purchased for green buildings are aesthetically pleasing as well as ergonomically accessible.
- Waste & Energy - Waste to Energy or plastics to fuel.
- Waste & Healthcare - Waste Reduction in the Health Industry: how to deal with hazardous material and what alternatives are available in the current market?
- Waste & Procurement - Environmental Preferred Purchasing (EPP) - how to establish guidelines and choose materials with low to net zero cost to society; what is truly â€œgreenâ€ and not merely green-washing? Collaborations to reduce the amount of non-recyclable material entering the institution, especially as it relates to packaging waste
- Waste & Student Affairs - Student involvement in campus operations & planning. What are ways to engage and spark interest to the industry among students? How to get students involved? Student run waste audits/ way to implement audits cheaply.
- Waste & Curriculum - Any colleges doing a resource management class that focuses on waste reduction?
- Waste & Climate Action Planning - How to measure recycling/waste diversion practices in terms of climate action and greenhouse gasses. Case Studies of Single-Stream Recycling and Sorted Recycling Systems and their effects on climate
- Waste & Social Equity - Any food-banks or donation based thrift stores on campuses? These programs not only reduce waste, but allow for economically disadvantaged students and staff to receive school supplies and other necessities at little or no cost.
- Waste & Transportation - Where does our waste/recycling go? Choosing a hauler that will reduce the overall environmental footprint of waste/recycling created on campus.