Green Committee Meeting Minutes
November 2, 2009
Attending: Ray Bailey (Chairman), Barbara Saperstone, Dan Wells, Rob Como, Callan Bentley, Joseph Gesa, Victor Zabielski, Hector Revollo, Jennifer Richardson, Susan Thompson, Ruth Stanton, Kathleen Odige, Mary Frances Vito.
Revised minutes of October 19 meeting were approved.
Ray reported on the 4th annual conference on Greening Virginia’s Colleges and Universities. A number of issues such as “Greening the Curriculum” are happening at places around Virginia. A good example is New River Community College’s renewable energy curriculum with solar, wind, geothermal, and a functioning certificate program. Also, many institutions have sustainability coordinators or facility managers running their programs.
We now have a number of directives to guide our committee: Lenna Storm’s presentation to the committee at the last meeting, Executive order 82 from the governor’s office, VCCS Virginia Task Force Report, other colleges’ actions.
Reports on recycling:
- Victor reported on Alexandria’s recycling program with information from Facilities Manager Aurang Zeb. There is a recycling program, however some problems are contamination of recyclables with other trash, lack of coordination and directions for individual recyclers.
We now know that 1) the contact person for recycling information at each campus is the Facilities Manager and 2) all contracts call for single stream recycling. Each campus seems to have a different level of participation in the recycling program currently.
- Joe at Loudoun noted too few receptacles for recycling. There are special small bins in most of the rooms, but he has seen janitorial staff dismissing recycling rules. (May be a training issue)
- Ray at Manassas reported that white paper recycling is going well there, but they need to implement new directives to expand recycling to include cans, bottles, etc…. Pepsi may offer free recycling bins for cans and bottles as part of their contract with NOVA.
- Jennifer Richardson reported that the recycling program at Woodbridge is fairly comprehensive extending from paper and cans, to printer cartridges, batteries, and used cooking oil from the café. There are 23 paper recycling bins and 16 for cans and bottles at Woodbridge.
- Ruth noted that at MEC recycling is on back burner while problems with custodial staff are being worked out
- Dan Wells explained that in the contracts custodians answer to the Facilities Coordinators who are to make sure the custodial staff implement the contracts.
Summary: The contracts offer a comprehensive program, but focus then must shift to the campus level.
Ray suggested steps to consider:
- Janitorial services must go along with the contract.
- Campus council (or some similar authority) needed to make sure.
- Notify colleagues to get compliance.
Rather than each of us going directly to our campus council, Barbara suggested the Green Committee ask the college senate to notify the campus councils of what is expected on each campus. Ray will draft a letter to the senate and request a few minutes on their agenda.
Ray described the conference he’d attended on greening Virginia’s colleges and universities. The main focus was on energy conservation, which can provide great savings, particularly in large projects like new buildings. Recycling, while less economically significant, is important because it creates a public perception that the institution is serious about green issues. If recycling is not obvious to students or the public, the result is often less compliance in other areas.
We must think about ways to publicize NOVA’s recycling program and monitor the program so that the Green Committee can report back on problems or best practices.
Homework for next meeting: read over documents such as the VCCS task force report and executive order 82 and consider suggestions on what the Green Committee needs to focus on. Greening the curriculum is one example. (*links to these documents will be emailed by Ray)
Ray suggested possibly inviting New River Community College to describe their certificate program.
Next meeting is to be on Monday, December 7th.