Greenhouse Gas Emissions Inventory & Recommendations for Achieving Carbon Neutrality. Solid Waste. 2010. Faculty Coordinator: Dr. Kate Hale Wilson Faculty Support: Dr. Jim Boulter and Dr. Kim Pierson Student Researchers: Carbon Neutral Team, 2010
Greenhouse Gas Emissions Inventory & Recommendations for Achieving Carbon Neutrality
Faculty Coordinator: Dr. Kate Hale Wilson
Faculty Support: Dr. Jim Boulterand Dr. Kim Pierson
Student Researchers: Carbon Neutral Team, 2010
Student Presenters: Jason Hansen, Laura Headrick, StephMabrey,& AndiKrunnfusz
Total Emissions: 38,870 metric tons eCO2
Note: If the majority of paper was not properly recycled,
it would contribute more than two times the metric tons of eCO2
Paper is the second largest contributor to solid waste emissions, at 1,413 MT of eCO2. If paper were eliminated in classrooms wherever possible and replaced with online and electronic systems, paper waste and resulting emissions would be drastically reduced. UW-Eau Claire employs the online class management system Desire2Learn and we recommend that the use of this system be encouraged in all classes. In addition, syllabi and other course handouts should be circulated electronically through Desire2Learn, a course web site, or campus email. Academic and administrative offices should also reduce paper use by printing only what is necessary and by converting paper forms to electronic versions; examples include job applications, financial aid forms, transcripts and degree audits, etc. Paper usage currently contributes 3.6% of the university’s overall GHG emissions.
RecycleMania, an annual nation-wide university and college campus event, promotes recycling and environmentally conscious methods of waste management. A competition among schools, it runs for 10 weeks each academic school year and measures the largest amount of recyclables per capita, total recyclables, and the least amount of trash or un-recyclable waste from each participating campus. In the 2010 competition, UW-Eau Claire placed eleventh among thirteen participating Wisconsin universities. At 1,716 MT of eCO2, trash is the largest contributor of solid waste emissions. By promoting RecycleMania, the University would not only encourage and sustain more effective methods of waste management, but also help develop positive attitudes toward proper recycling habits. We recommend that the University advertise and explain RecycleMania before and during the competition to increase awareness and participation. The competition could also be made more locally meaningful by having competitions between residence halls and between academic departments.
During the 2009-2010 fiscal year, UW-Eau Claire’s commingled recyclables emitted 889 MT of eCO2. Plastic bottles make up a large part of these recyclables, and also contribute to University waste when members of the campus community do not practice proper recycling. The removal of water bottles from all University vending machines would not only decrease the amount of waste, but would also be more cost-efficient for the students, faculty and staff. The University has water fountains readily available in all University buildings, and reusable water bottles are available for purchase on campus. To promote sustainable water choices, the University should reduce the price of reusable water bottles and offer the bottles as prizes and as part of a freshman-welcome kit, as well as providing them to all new faculty and staff hires. Additionally, promoting campus awareness of the global issues connected to commercially bottled water affords opportunities for curricular and co-curricular initiatives.
A successful compost program, in which all organic waste is removed from the trash, would result in an up to 4.3% decrease in overall UW-Eau Claire GHG emissions. Currently, compost is collected only in the W.R. Davies Center—one of 28 University buildings. We recommend that compost bins be placed in each food service area, including Riverview Café, Hilltop Center, Library Grounds, and the Simply to Go food stands in Hibbard Humanities Hall and Haas Fine Arts Center. We further recommend that clear and consistent signage appear in all compost areas. The University should pilot a compost program in one residence hall to determine feasibility, working closely with Facilities Management and the Housing Office.