CCAD has spent the last couple of years working toward becoming a sustainable campus with projects like changing to energy efficient lighting, participating in move-out recycling drives, and moving to a zero-waste cafeteria and thanks to a new grant from the Solid Waste Authority of Central Ohio (SWACO), CCAD will increase its green campus efforts.
With a $19,800 grant from SWACO, the college will deploy 60 new recycling stations and 10 water bottle refill stations across campus in early August.
“We are pleased to be able fund a sustainability project like this,” said Rick Dodge, SWACO interim executive director. “We target our grant funds to programs that can improve regional sustainability. CCAD’s program is a prime example. It will show how individuals who make small changes in their lives can collectively make a big difference in reducing waste.”
The first water bottle refill station was set up a year ago in Kinney Hall on campus. It did 31,000 bottle refills, significantly decreasing the number of plastic water bottles purchased and discarded by students, faculty, and staff.
The 60 recycling stations will collect newspapers, printed and writing paper, glass bottles and jars, plastic bottles, and cans. To evaluate the programs’ effectiveness, CCAD will measure solid waste data to compare the volume of recycling to the amount of waste generated.
Several years ago CCAD established a sustainability committee, which has worked with departments and students campuswide to develop several eco-friendly initiatives.
“Our sustainability committee has challenged our campus community to reduce the amount of trash we send to landfills,” said CCAD president Denny Griffith. “We’ve made progress with a composting program for waste in our dining hall, and our May effort to repurpose materials left in dorm rooms at the end of the school year reduced by 60 percent the usual amount of move-out items sent to the landfill.”
Hannah McGary, head of grounds and landscaping at CCAD, helped lead the move-out recycling program and other sustainability initiatives, including the use of recyclable mulch.
The Market, CCAD’s dining hall, coordinates with Eartha Limited of Columbus to have all compostable waste transported to Ohio Mulch, where it is composted with plant waste to produce a product called Green Envy.
“This spring, the grounds and landscaping crew used 11 cubic yards of Green Envy and 11 cubic yards of Columbus leaf compost, which is leaf compost made strictly of leafy plant matter collected from Columbus Yard Waste services, to do our campus mulching,” said McGary.
In addition to composting food waste, for several years the Market has used compostable flatware and tissues. To prevent overuse, the dining hall also charges extra to use its (recycled) to-go containers for take-out food.
Other initiatives on campus include changing to energy efficient bulbs on automated timers, replacing plastic bags for yard waste with paper ones, and recycling old dorm furniture and mattresses.
“I can tell you without doubt that these changes have resulted in a shift in CCAD thinking,” McGary said. “I understand the course of changing atmosphere and attitude is slow and often difficult, but we’ve made great strides already; students, staff and faculty are taking note and are incorporating themes of sustainability into their courses, behaviors and conversations.”
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