Green Committee Minutes of April 6, 2009
The meeting began at 3:38pm. Attending were: Les Krogh, Dan Wells, Ray Bailey, Laura Noell, Nancy Wyatt, Victor Zabielski, Denny May, Kathleen Odige, Callan Bentley, and Ruth Stanton.
The minutes of the previous meeting were reviewed and accepted with three corrections.
Nancy reported that there were no Pepsi sample containers because we are lacking information that we would need in order to order some.
Callan’s inquiry into the recycled content of the NOVA letterhead will be forwarded to the chair, who can forward it to the whole committee.
It was announced that Mitch Markon was resigning the committee due to being overcommitted. Several committee members suggested that we write to him in encouragement to stay on.
There was no new information of contracts from Ed Mellon.
Les sent data to Ray about how much of our waste stream is being recycled versus sent out as solid waste; Ray will forward this to the whole committee.
Ray indicated that there is an upcoming webcast on climate change sponsored by the National Wildlife Foundation. Cheryl Robinette also contacted Ray to inform him about the Annandale campus’ upcoming Earth Day/ Arbor Day celebration on April 25 at 11am.
Ray reminded the committee that he had reserved the boardroom as a backup meeting date for April 20, since the March meeting was cancelled due to snow.
Ray transmitted a recycling report on behalf of Bill Chamberlin, who was in a meeting with Miguel Garcia. Bids are currently in for both the janitorial and solid waste/haul-off contracts. They are currently being evaluated. Les said he is hopeful that this process will be completed this month. The final step after signing the contract is bonding and insuring, which puts us overall at about a one-month timeline until implementation.
Ray noted that this schedule is in line with that was predicted at the February meeting. The solid waste/recycling contract for Loudoun and the two Prince William campuses is being handled by the landfill, which is run by the county. Alexandria’s waste will go to some other location; Ray will e-mail Ed Mellon to determine this other location.
Bill reported to Ray that his sense was that the implementation of recycling at Annandale and Medical Education campuses had gone smoothly. Apparently, there is a better response from Fairfax County than from AAA.
Nancy suggested that Roger Tancretti used to keep statistics about how much we recycled – perhaps it was a requirement by the state at some point? Les responded, “That data is still required by Prince William County, and maybe all counties.” He also enumerated what was reported: paper as a single commodity, cans and bottles together as another, scrap metal, kitchen grease, used motor oil, photo chemicals, copier and ink cartridges.
Denny reported that Alexandria recycles cardboard only; everything else is collected as “recycling” but dumped in the trash dumpster. The state says that NOVA-Alexandria doesn’t have to submit to Alexandria’s local regulation to recycle.
Ray asked the MEC representatives about their experiences with the new recycling program. “Everything is okay,” Kathleen said. There have been no critter issues. There are bins in every office suite. They want little paper boxes for individual offices, but there is no source for those. Laura then described what she had perceived at Annandale. Ray clarified the issue of container types: there are three containers (trash, paper, & bottles/cans) that go to two repositories (trash dumpster & recycling dumpster). The question was raised: why have two separate containers for the recyclables (paper/ bottles & cans) when they end up going to the same spot? Dan replied that it is important to separate them inside so that the bottles don’t soak into the cardboard paper-recycling-collection containers. Callan asked “Why not put it all into the blue containers then, since they are plastic?” Dan replied that they are too small for all the recycling.
Laura suggested that we need more blue bottle/can bins and more trash containers. She suggested that paper collecting boxes are “over-represented.” Callan reported on the Annandale advisory green committee’s well-intentioned but ineffectual attempts to supply signage for recycling bins. Laura suggested that we need a systemic plan to organize and administer recycling, since we have made a contractual investment in hiring a recycling contractor. Ray noted that no one is in charge of this effort, and that what we really need is a sustainability coordinator. Denny and Callan concurred.
Dan said ideally it would be a new position. Denny pointed out that there are very large sums of federal money flowing now for things like this; but we need someone to be in charge in order for this to work. He suggested that this should be paramount in our recommendations to Dr. Templin at the end of this year.
Nancy asked Callan to share the PowerPoint slideshow that the Annandale campus has been using to promote the recycling campaign. Callan promised to e-mail it to those who were interested. Ray asked Denny if he would be willing to organize a position description for a sustainability coordinator. Denny agreed to, and to share it via e-mail with interested parties as a working document. He also indicated that what he was envisioning was more general, and that part of it is a new position, but it goes further than that as well.
Ruth asked about the path our recommendations would take: do we submit them to the Senate? …the Administrative Council? Ray said that we are a committee formed by the Senate. Nancy wondered if we could expedite things by going straight to President Templin. Ray noted that there is no precedent, since this is the first year of the committee.
Dan reported on the progress in construction. There is a new directive from the state as of December 1, 2008. This directive is an addendum to the state’s manual on building new buildings. Though complex, it boils down to: build all new buildings to either (a) LEEDS or (b) Virginia Energy Conservation and Environmental Performance standards. The scoring scheme will be online later this month. There is still no requirement to get certified, but we must do the 26 points to qualify for basic (LEEDS) certification. We must demonstrate that we have met that standard, either by (1) getting certified, or (2) hiring a third party to prove that we could get certified if we wanted to. This is a true standard, Dan noted.
Callan asked if, from Dan’s perspective, this was a big deal. Dan replied that is was, because it was mandatory. The good news is that NOVA’s monetary request to the VCCS for new building funds has been bumped up by several percent to cover these design and verification standards.
Ray said that Bill reported that the new VCCS task force (of which Bill is a member) is meeting a lot. They have convened once already, and have several more meetings scheduled for over the summer. There is a polling effort underway of the VCCS to see what’s being done and what needs to be done. The Chancellor, it was noted, is serious. The question was raised as to how much of this was coming from the Chancellor’s office, and how much from the Governor. Ray said he would e-mail the Chancellor for specifics.
It was agreed to utilize the April 20 meeting date. Nancy suggested that the two main agenda items be (1) contracts with Ed Mellon, and (2) Denny’s proposal.
The meeting was adjourned at 5:07pm.