10104. Waste Management
UT Arlington seeks move toward zero waste by reducing, reusing, recycling, and composting. These actions mitigate the need to extract virgin materials, such as trees and metals. It generally takes less energy and water to make a product with recycled material than with virgin resources. Reducing waste generation also reduces the flow of waste to incinerators and landfills which produce greenhouse gas emissions, can contaminate air and groundwater supplies, and tend to have disproportionate negative impacts on low-income communities. Waste reduction and diversion also save institutions costly landfill and hauling service fees. In addition, waste reduction campaigns can engage the entire campus community in contributing to a tangible sustainability goal.
Recognizing that more environmentally friendly purchasing will require not only institutional changes but also cultural changes in consumption, the Purchasing work group serves the University community by educating, advising, and engaging staff, faculty and students in green procurement strategies to help create a campus culture of environmental sustainability at the individual level.
- Institution has implemented source reduction strategies to reduce total waste generation (garbage, recycling, and compost) per weighted campus user compared to a 2005 baseline.
- Institution diverts materials from the landfill or incinerator by recycling, composting, reusing, donating, or re-selling.
- Institution diverts non-hazardous construction and demolition waste from the landfill and/or incinerator.
- Institution has a program in place to recycle, reuse, and/or refurbish all electronic waste generated by the institution. Institution takes measures to ensure that the electronic waste is recycled responsibly.
- Institution has strategies in place to reduce waste on online purchases and dining services.
Facilities Management is striving to reduce the amount of demolition debris going to local landfills; by diverting viable demolition materials to local recycling facilities. Prior to demolition of University owned facilities, we are working with our contractors to inventory the existing materials in the facility and determine which demolition debris are viable candidates for recycling. The contractor will then segregate these materials during demolition and transport them to the proper recycling facility using a “shipping slip”. The quantity of waste being recycled is documented on each “shipping slip”. At the end of the project, this documentation is provided to UT Arlington and we record the overall debris diversion percentage for that particular project.
The Dining Services Work Group works with ARAMARK, UT Arlington's dining services provider, to develop innovative product and service options that operationalize mutual social responsibility objectives, including tray less dining, recycling, and eco-friendly cleaning products.
ARAMARK, UT Arlington's dining services provider, works to develop innovative product and service options that operationalize their corporate social responsibility objectives, including trayless dining, recycling, and eco-friendly cleaning products. University Dining Services supports the use of Reusable mugs on campus. Students, faculty, or staff who use reusable mugs only pay a dollar for any size refill on campus for coffee and fountain soda.
Green Purchasing can be defined as "products or services" that have a less or reduced impact on the human health and the environment when compared with no green products that serve the same purpose. The connection to purchasing is simple—the goods we purchase require energy and resources to produce, package, transport, use, and/or dispose of—so choosing products whose life-cycle impacts are minimal can really reduce overall campus emissions. The Purchasing work group is comprised of volunteer students, faculty, and staff committed to working with senior administration to facilitate dialog and implement environmentally responsible solutions across the university.
Recycled Products Purchasing
In the past three years, UT Arlington has saved more than 300 trees through the purchases of our recycled products. We saved:
- 320 trees
- 116,548 gallons of water
- The energy equivalent to 1,617 gallons of oil and 6 homes heated last year
- 226,435,580 BTUs of energy
- Reduced green house gas emissions by 28,078 (CO2) equivalents
Maverick Office Green Teams
Endorsed by President Spaniolo and launched in 2009, the Maverick Office Green Team program is a new coordinated, collaborative effort to meet higher environmental standards for office practices. The program includes extended initiatives in reducing, recycling and reusing, energy conservation, purchasing, and more.
Recycling & Composting Program
The University of Texas at Arlington is an award-winning leader in recycling and composting. UT Arlington's broad commitment to recycling accommodates paper, cardboard, plastic, aluminum, printer cartridges, ink jet cartridges, scrap metal, oil, oil filters, photo fixer, fluorescent lamps, ballasts, batteries, alkaline batteries, and technotrash (CDs, DVDs, audio tapes, video tapes, and diskettes).
For 2010 (Jan-Dec) UT Arlington recycled or composted:
- Paper 521,267
- Apts/Residence Halls 223,682
- Batteries (Alkaline) 1,079
- Cartridges 2,680
- Technotrash 250
- Plastic/Aluminum 6,056
- Tires (155) 3,255
- Food Waste 40,152
- Coffee Grounds 19,743
- Leaves 27,800
- Grass 12,000
- Metal 112,950
- Oil 544
- Oil filters 1,200
- Thermostats 360
- Lead Acid Batteries 3,075
- NiCad Batteries 31
- Lamps 633
TOTAL 976,757 LBS (488.39 TONS)
UT Arlington's award-winning composting program is not only practical and environmentally-friendly but is an outstanding learning tool and model for others considering similar programs. Items that can be and are collected and composted include:
1. Coffee grounds and paper coffee filters
2. Fruit Peels and Skins
3. Leftover Salads
4. Boiled Eggshells
Neither meat, dairy nor grease type products can be composted.
Purchase Green Contest
Green Purchasing can be defined as "products or services" that have a less or reduced impact on human health and the environment when compared with ‘non-green’ products that serve the same purpose. The connection tos purchasing is simple—the goods we purchase require energy and resources to produce, package, transport, use, and/or dispose of—so choosing products whose life-cycle impacts are minimal can really reduce overall campus emissions. The Maverick Office Green Teams are encouraged to participate in the Staples/3M Buy One, Plant One Contest. Prizes will be awarded for purchases of qualifying products.