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Pollution Efforts

Dining Services staff test out new Activeion chemical-free cleaning units.

Present

  • Green cleaning In Fall 2008, campus Housekeeping made a committment to 100% green cleaning supplies (aside from using up old stocks of the prior materials). This includes green cleaning chemicals, the use of micro-fiber cloths instead of disposable towels and the purchase of EnergyStar-certified laundry machines to wash them, 100% recycled content paper towels and toilet paper, and a transition to foam soap dispensers. Progress is being made towards meeting 100% green cleaning standards.
  • Activeion cleaning Dining Services has purchased Activeion units for cleaning dining hall areas. These units use absolutely no chemicals or solvents for cleaning, but instead rely on the natural sanitizing and cleansing power of ionized water. See more about the units, including a video from Bill Nye the Science Guy, at the Activeion website.
  • Integrated Pest Management The entire campus is managed with IPM standards, emphasizing natural methods of pest and weed control instead of applying chemicals (including pesticides).
  • E-waste handling The College's electronic waste is now handled by an approved e-waste handler, and a visit in the spring verified appropriate practices.
  • Low-VOC fixtures/furnishes Low-VOC paints, sealants, carpets, furniture, and other items were selected for projects including the North Campus Residence Halls and the Harwood Court Renovation.
  • Synthetic fertilizer reduction Grounds continuously assesses new organic fertilizers for replacement of synthetic varieties. Grounds has also  implemented a number of practices to help reduce stress on the turf and ornamentals, thus reducing pesticide and fertilizer use. 
  • Hazardous waste disposal Batteries, light bulbs, and other hazardous wastes are disposed of with an approved handler and outreach is conducted on campus to reduce inappropriate disposal.
  • Environmental safety position The College hired a new part-time environmental safety professional on campus to assist with hazardous materials safety and disposal efforts. 
  • E-waste handling The College’s electronic waste is handled by an approved e-waste handler.

Progress toward goals for 2020

The following table includes relevant objectives from the College's Sustainability Action Plan.

How we're doing - 2020 Goals
Data point08-0909-1010-1111-1212-132020 Objective
Refrigerant use (pounds) 269 389 284 228 309 202 pounds
(25% reduction over 08-09)
Synthetic fertilizer use (pounds) 9,250 1,250 750 1,250 3,950 0 pounds
Compliance with Green Cleaning Procedures Data not available 50%* 56% 34% 36% 100%
No non-essential use of hazardous materials** N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A Yes%
Compliance with Sustainable Operations and Maintenance Standards Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes

* For the first half of the 2009-10 academic year, the College erroneously purchased a variety of products out of compliance with green cleaning standards.

** Based on a study of the use of hazardous materials on campus (not yet completed).