Recommendations of the President’s Task Force on Sustainability – Spring, 2009

mammatus

Mammatus Clouds

Recommendations of the President’s Task Force on Sustainability Spring, 2009

Task Force Membership: Eric Algoe, Laurie Anderson (Chair), Julia Brooker, Gene Castelli, Karen Crosman, Amy Downing, Jann Ichida, Steve Ishmael, Jim Krehbiel, John Krygier, Kim Lance, Bart Martin, Sara Nienaber, Jim Peoples, Carol Poling, David Robbins, Chris Setzer, Shari Stone-Mediatore, Jack Stenger, Chuck Stinemetz, Paula Travis, Barb Wiehe, Tom Wolber.

Charge: The President’s Task Force on Campus Sustainability is charged with developing recommendations that will lead to a culture of sustainability on the Ohio Wesleyan University campus. Specifically, the task force will examine the President’s Climate Initiative and develop a roadmap for fulfilling commitments made in the initiative and recommend a timeline for specific actions Ohio Wesleyan University can take to become more environmentally friendly.  The task force will present its recommendations to the president prior to the end of the spring semester, 2009.

We the Committee propose that before President Jones signs the Climate Commitment, we have a period of public comment to assess the reaction of the broader community.  Laurie Anderson and President Rock Jones will communicate information about the Climate Commitment in Faculty Meeting on September 14, 2009 as a starting point for discussion. We anticipate discussion at a second faculty meeting later in the Fall 2009 semester.

Please contact Laurie Anderson or any committee member with e-mail comments.

Task Force Recommendations: PDF file download here.

American College and University Presidents Climate Commitment: Commitment and Web Pages

Note: information posted below and in the categories (to the right) are NOT part of the Task Force Recommendation. Information below concerns various projects and information about Green activities on campus.

September 9, 2009 at 11:40 am Leave a comment

Food Waste Reduction @ OWU

foodwaste

Potential for Food Waste Recovery & Composting at OWU

Food waste reduction, recovery, and composting fits into the Waste Minimization category of the President’s Climate Commitment.  Given efforts already underway by Chartwells on campus, the existence of grant money to fund composting, and the potential for medium and long-term cost savings for the university, a focus on Food Waste seems to be a viable immediate action activity.

Basic Facts:

  • food waste is the least recovered of waste in the US
  • Youngstown State University study: food waste as 35% of university waste
  • Food waste is heavy (3 cu yards = 1 ton) thus expensive to dispose of
  • Composters need food waste mixed with paper, yard waste, untreated wood (thus food waste is part of a larger group of compostable materials that the campus produces)

Food Waste Strategy:

foodhier

Simplify waste stream:

  • Plastic and glass and some paper to recycle
  • Redirect viable food for people, animals, industrial uses
  • Remaining food waste, yard waste, and paper to composter
  • Non-recyclable material to landfill

Challenges:

  • lack of composting facilities (changing)
  • low Ohio disposal fees, thus cheaper to dump than to compost
  • cost of self-composting (but grants available)

Current Food Waste Reduction at OWU

  • Project Trim Trax: Tracking and reducing production and leftover waste at Smith POD
  • Project Clean Plate: Tracking edible waste from students in an attempt to lower waste and food cost
  • Weekly food donations to Common Grounds Ministry
  • STEP: Renewable Packaging for a sustainable future.
  • recycle fryer oil

See overview of issues at the MORPC meeting (notes here)

Coordinate with enhanced recycling program (Buildings & Grounds involvement)

Model 1: On campus composting (like Youngstown State)

  • Plan & map to recover and deliver usable food waste (viable campus food waste is picked up; find out who does this; further sources of viable food waste on campus, expand to near-campus sources, collaborate with Kroger?)
  • Map of sources of campus food waste, yard waste, wood, paper w/approximate amounts
  • Grants to pay for part or all of composter (see Youngstown State University composting program using EarthTub composter)
  • Save cost of hauling food waste and yard waste (need estimate of these costs from Buildings & Grounds and Chartwells; where does food and yard waste currently go? Composter or landfill?)
  • Use compost & mulch on campus for landscaping
  • Sources for Biodiesel project
  • Save on purchase of mulch, fertilizer  (need estimate of these costs from Buildings & Grounds)
  • Use compost and mulch for rain gardens (rainwater harvesting project)
  • Work to replace non-compostables with compostables on campus (cutlery, cups, plates, etc.)
  • Develop plan which is cost neutral

Model 2: Off-campus composting

  • Plan & map to recover and deliver usable food waste (viable campus food waste is picked up; find out who does this; further sources of viable food waste on campus, expand to near-campus sources, collaborate with Kroger?)
  • Map of sources of campus food waste, yard waste, wood, paper w/approximate amounts
  • Details on two composting facilities in Delaware County
  • Use compost & mulch on campus for landscaping
  • Sources for Biodiesel project
  • Use compost and mulch for rain gardens (rainwater harvesting project)
  • Work to replace non-compostables with compostables on campus (cutlery, cups, plates, etc.)
  • Develop plan which is cost neutral

March 1, 2009 at 4:14 pm 1 comment

Energy Star Appliances @ OWU

energystar

Potential for Energy Star Appliances at OWU

The President’s Climate Commitment suggests the adoption of an energy-efficient appliance purchasing policy requiring purchase of ENERGY STAR certified products in all areas for which such ratings exist.  An impediment to adopting an Energy Star purchasing policy is determining who orders appliances on campus (the orders are placed by a diversity of offices).  The additional cost of Energy Star appliances is also an impediment.  Energy Star appliance purchasing could be an immediate action if an accurate inventory of appliance purchasers is compiled, if contractors supplying appliances on campus (washers/dryers and room refrigerators in residential halls) are required to supply Energy Star appliances, and funds for the additional costs of such appliances secured.

Energy Star Appliance Information:

Appliances at OWU

Sciences: Ordering by Pam Anderson in Purchasing.  Request is often for NON-defrost type freezers and refrigerators; no requests for Energy Star appliances.  Appliances are ordered from SEARS.

  • Estimate over 100  large refrigerators and freezers in the Science Center labs and offices in other academic buildings
  • No clue as to number in the offices of staff and faculty, but is probably very high percentage.

Athletic Department: Washers and dryers.  Contact: Todd Miller

Residential Halls: Susan Cooperider orders some of the units for the residential halls. Residential Life says that most student rooms (n =>500)  have small mini refrigerators supplied by students.  Residential life did not rent the units this year. On Feb. 20th a new supplier is interviewing at OWU and Bobby Fry will ask about the Energy Star ratings and get back us. Buildings and Grounds orders units for the  buildings formal kitchens (including the president’s home) and the fraternities that are being refurbished. None ordered for this year yet.

  • Sue Cooperider: All of our washers are high efficiency water saving machines that use about half of the water (or less) than top-load machines.  All of our equipment is considered Energy Star and our vendor is a National Energy Star Corporate Partner. We currently have 45 washers and 47 dryers on campus.
  • Refrigerators:  1/res hall and  9 SLUs = 25 total; ?  in Austin Manor

Residence Halls at OWU

Replacing Appliances in Residential Halls:

  • Washers/Dryers:  6 of each/res hall= 72 total
  • ? of how many in SLUs or Austin Manor
  • Refrigerators:  1/res hall and SLU=15 total
  • Austin Manor: 6 non-Energy Star washers
  • ? of how many in CWSC and other academic buildings

Residential Halls: Contacts

  • Bashford Hall: 740-368-6189 (lobby), -2400 (reception area)
  • Res. Life Coordinator: Brandon Moss, 740-368-3183
  • Hayes Hall: 740-368-6168 (lobby), -2100 (reception area)
  • Res. Life Coordinator: Julia Brooker, 740-368-3182
  • Smith Hall: 740-368-6180 (lobby), -2500 (reception area)
  • Res. Life Coordinator: Julie Blaszak, 740-368-3178
  • Stuyvesant Hall: 740-368-6176 (lobby), -2010 (reception area)
  • Res. Life Coordinator: Drew Peterson, 740-368-3181
  • Thomson Hall: 740-368-6187 (lobby), -2300 (reception area)
  • Res. Life Coordinator: Brandon Moss, 740-368-3183
  • Welch Hall: 740-368-6192 (lobby), -2200 (reception area)
  • Res. Life Coordinator: Brandon Moss, 740-368-3183

Small Living Units (SLUs) at OWU

  • Res. Life Coordinator: Julia Brooker, 740-368-3182
  • Creative Arts House | 110-114 Rowland
  • House of Black Culture | 65 Oak Hill
  • House of HOPE | 81 Oak Hill
  • House of Thought | 118 Rowland
  • International House | 88 Oak Hill
  • Modern Foreign Languages House | 86 Rowland
  • Peace and Justice House | 235 West William
  • Tree House | 104 Oak Hill
  • Women’s House | 94 Rowland
  • Austin Manor |

Community Cooperation

Central Ohio Sustainability Alliance (COSA): Non-profit organization whose mission is to: “promote, encourage, and support alliances for sustainability among and between organizations, communities and individuals throughout Central Ohio so as to strengthen the economic and social fabric of the region and to assure its ability to cope with climate change and other environmental challenges.”
Two Initiatives:

  1. The Waste Not Center (WNC). The Center provides recycled school, art, and office supplies to teachers and others.
  2. The Central Ohio Sustainability Roundtable (COSR) The Roundtable is a networking group open to professionals and lay citizens who want to learn about and engage in sustainability issues.

March 1, 2009 at 4:13 pm Leave a comment

Green Investment @ OWU

money

Green Investment at OWU

The President’s Climate Commitment requires we stablish a policy or a committee that supports climate and sustainability shareholder proposals at companies where our institution’s endowment is invested

Issues:

  • Krygier’s Geography 355 Course project: mapping OWU investments: source of data?
  • issue of the costs of green investing

March 1, 2009 at 4:13 pm Leave a comment

Renewable Energy @ OWU

cattelan

Renewable Energy at OWU

The President’s Climate Commitment requires that within one year of signing, OWU must begin purchasing or producing at least 15% of the institution’s electricity consumption from renewable sources.

Issues:

  • potential for purchasing green power from current sources
  • potential for collaboration with energy company on solar, wind, or geothermal power
  • coordinate with SNC solar project.

March 1, 2009 at 4:12 pm Leave a comment

Green Construction @ OWU

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Green Construction at OWU

The President’s Climate Commitment asks us to establish a policy that all new campus construction will be built to at least the U.S. Green Building Council’s LEED Silver standard or equivalent.

Meek Aquatics and Recreation Center: As part of the Remembering Mr. Rickey Campaign, OWU intends to construct an approximately 25,000 square foot indoor natatorium to be named the Meek Aquatics and Recreation Center utilizing a geothermal heating and cooling system.  The natatorium includes a 25-yard, 10 lane pool with a diving well. The facility design calls for an interior glass wall for the mechanical room to showcase the geothermal aspects of the building which will be further highlighted by an informational kiosk.  The introduction of geoexchange technology will provide the opportunity to examine operating and maintenance costs, energy efficiency and occupant comfort levels.  Findings from the geothermal test wells found the building site is suitable with 90 wells to be installed at a depth of 240 feet.   OWU will be seeking LEED Silver certification for this facility.

March 1, 2009 at 4:12 pm Leave a comment

Rainwater Recovery & Rain Gardens @ OWU

raingardens-edgewood

Rainwater Recovery and Rain Gardens at OWU

Rainwater recovery fits into the Waste Minimization category of the President’s Climate Commitment. Rain gardens could be implemented at OWU to consume recovered rainwater. Recovered rainwater could also be used to provide water for other plants on campus, reducing water usage. Grants to develop rain gardens exist. Students and faculty interested in plants (community gardens, botany, etc.) may be enlisted to develop raingardens.  Rainwater recovery and rain gardens could be a viable immediate action activity.

Rainwater Recovery

Rainwater recovery involves the automatic collection of rainwater during every rain through systems known as rainwater harvesting. The system utilizes water from runoff points such as roof gutters and ultimately diverts this water into a storage system such as a cistern. The water may also be diverted to rain gardens. Recovered water will primarily be used for non-potable purposes. Landscape watering is a good use of harvested water. A collection surface of just 2000 sq. ft. in our climate could bring in a supply of over 28,000 gallons in a year.

The basic components of a fully functioning rainwater harvesting system are:

  • Collection Surface (Roof surfaces)
  • Initial conveyance (Gutters and Downspouts)
  • Roof washer (first level of filtration in a full system and the primary level of filtration in a partial system)
  • Holding tanks (Cisterns- above or below ground)
  • Distribution and Fixtures (Pumps, Pipes, Standard plumbing fixtures)

Legal Issues: In order to carry this project out there are some legal issues that could need to be addressed. Ohio has some fairly stringent laws pertaining to water collection. Some of the laws are about things that are seemingly trivial and ones that we might easily overlook. The size of the storage unit, for example can be an issue. Ohio has size restrictions on cisterns, so this and other legal matters will need to be looked into comprehensively.

Aesthetic Issues: The aesthetics of a rainwater harvesting system should also be taken into consideration. There are many elements in the system that could be potential eyesores or worse. If a large cistern is being used it needs to be setup so it doesn’t obstruct anything. This is why underground cisterns are also a good option. However there are various drawbacks with them such as expense, the chance of destroying underground cables, pipes etc. More capital will be needed since there will also need to be a more efficient system of getting water from the underground cistern to the final destination above ground.

Current Geography 355 Project: Map storm water runoff as it exists on campus (roof and pavement) and identify potential sources of rainwater recovery on campus.  Document characteristics of the source (roof type, access to water, potential uses, water quality issues).  Goal: Campus water harvesting potential map.

Summary from Manav Menon (manav712@gmail.com)

Rain Gardens

A rain garden is a planted depression that is designed to allow rainwater runoff the opportunity to be absorbed from impervious urban areas like roofs, driveways, walkways, and compacted lawn areas. This reduces rain runoff by allowing stormwater to soak into the ground (as opposed to flowing into storm drains and surface waters which causes erosion, water pollution, flooding, and diminished groundwater). Rain gardens can cut down on the amount of pollution reaching creeks and streams by up to 30%. (source)

Rain garden types:

raingardens-types

Funding: Grants for Rain Gardens are available from the Ohio Environmental Education Fund.  Two of the General Grants Awarded in 2008:

Franklin Soil and Water Conservation District, Central Ohio Rain Gardens, F09G-017, $49,742, Franklin County, OEEF Priority: Community Issues, Audience: General Public, Contact: Stephanie Suter, ssuter@franklinswcd.org, 614-486-9613. Provide a series of educational workshops, brochures, a website, and demonstration projects to show residents how rain gardens can collect storm water runoff from downspouts, driveways and sidewalks to reduce flooding and prevent storm water pollution of waterways.  Volunteers will monitor storm water run off before and after rain garden installation to look for changes in both water quantity and quality.  Collaborators include the Cities of Columbus and Westerville, Friends of the Lower Olentangy Watershed, Mid-Ohio Regional Planning Commission, and Sierra Club Central Ohio Group.

Clermont Soil and Water Conservation District, Partnering to Protect Water Resources: A Rain Garden Demonstration and Education Project, F09G-018, $50,000, Clermont County, OEEF Priorities: Community Issues and Standards Based Education, Audience: Pre-Kindergarten – University, Contact: Paul Berringer, paul.berringer@oh.nacdnet.net, 513-732-7075. Provides demonstration rain gardens on the campuses of each of the nine local school districts within Clermont County, plus the Grant Career Center in Bethel.  An accompanying classroom and field study curriculum will help teachers explain the installations and environmental benefits of rain gardens and rain barrels. A rain garden workshop for the general public will be held in conjunction with the installation of one of the rain gardens, and will be filmed by the Clermont County Today cable television program.  A printed guide and local Web page will instruct residents on how to create and register their own rain garden to help with storm water management.  Collaborators include the Clermont County Stormwater Management Department, Office of Environmental Quality and Office of Public Information, East Fork Watershed Collaborative, Greenacres Foundation, and Marvin’s Organic Gardens.

Summary from Jann Ichida (jmichida@owu.edu)

March 1, 2009 at 4:11 pm 1 comment

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Sustainability information, ideas, and news related to Ohio Wesleyan University's Campus Sustainability Task Force: Eric Algoe, Laurie Anderson (Chair), Julia Brooker, Gene Castelli, Karen Crosman, Amy Downing, Jann Ichida, Steve Ishmael, Jim Krehbiel, John Krygier, Kim Lance, Bart Martin, Sara Nienaber, Jim Peoples, Carol Poling, David Robbins, Chris Setzer, Shari Stone-Mediatore, Jack Stenger, Chuck Stinemetz, Paula Travis, Barb Wiehe, Tom Wolber.

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