Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Financial Affairs - A Year in Waste

In response to the Chancellor’s Sustainability Challenge to reduce waste in 2013-14, the Financial Affairs Green Team kicked off this effort by presenting “A Year in Waste.“ This event was promoted to build awareness of waste generated by Financial Affairs and to encourage more sustainable and ecologically friendly practices. “A Year in Waste” was held October 23 to a standing room-only group of employees and included a skit by the Financial Affairs Actors Pool, a raffle of donated “green items," a debut of the Dimeo Lane Video (featuring a guest appearance by Chancellor Blumenthal), food, and an informative presentation and call to action by Director of Sustainability, Lacey Raak.

The Dimeo Lane Video shown at this event was created in an attempt to better understand what happens to the waste Financial Affairs generates and to explore avenues for diverting waste from the landfill wherever possible. As part of this endeavor, the Dimeo Lane project team donned hard hats to tour the landfill and interviewed the management about waste diversion opportunities for UCSC. This video offered an opportunity to share what was learned from this project and to create greater awareness within Financial Affairs about trash management and sustainability.

Another “Year in Waste” project, the Financial Affairs Waste Reduction Initiative, is currently underway. Collaborators on this four-week pilot waste stream project included Waste and Recycling, Grounds Services, Custodial, Financial Affairs, and 2300 Delaware Facilities Managements. During this pilot program, a baseline measurement of waste was collected. Six waste streams were identified: white paper, mixed paper, compost, garbage, cardboard and containers. The data recovered in this pilot program will be used to compare against future waste measurements to be taken at year end. In addition, this information can be extrapolated to other similar environments to help identify resource and infrastructure needs to achieve zero waste.

The Financial Affairs Green Team looks forward to continued efforts in environmental leadership, collaboration, education and meeting the Chancellor’s Challenge by reducing waste, improving sustainability practices and implementing environmental solutions.

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