EPA estimates that 75% of the waste stream is reusable, yet we only recycle about 30% of it. Diverting waste from the landfills and incinerators benefits not only the climate, but also the bottom line (most estimates say that 40% of US carbon emissions come from materials!). Looking closely at what we buy, what we use, what we throw away, where we send our waste, sets us up for dramatic carbon savings. Rethinking, reusing, recycling, composting. It all makes a big difference. UB will achieve net zero waste across all material streams by 2030.
Phase I (2020): Establish a working group to determine viable options and pathways to strive for zero waste across university systems by 2030 that will examine our campus purchases and practices, identify the scope of our waste, and create standards of waste reduction infrastructure on campus
Phase II (2020-2021): Assess the scope of hazardous materials and identify safer and more sustainable substitutions, create contracts and make purchases which take extended producer responsibility into account, develop a robust system to promote the repair, reuse and donation of materials and goods, ensure any remaining materials and goods are recycled, and improve access to zero waste education
Phase III (2022): Divert all organics from waste, eliminate all single use plastics
UB will leverage the recently enacted New York Food Donation and Food Scraps Recycling Law, the plastic bag ban, Styrofoam ban and other legislative proposals. In addition, our university will leverage its larger "Building the Circular Economy Through Zero Waste" strategy to propose progressive new campus policies that leverage UB's procurement practices, operations and administrative infrastructure to diminish the amount of waste generated on campus.
· Removed and recycled over 12 and ½ tons of electronics from South Campus buildings to ensure space is efficiently utilized.
· Developing revised contracts for university recycling service and sustainable flooring options.
· Participated in educational campaign promoting Campus Race to Zero Waste in April to engage UB community in zero waste activities on campus and at home.
· Created a model for a professional clothing distribution center on campus to support students. HIRED will collect professional clothing and accessories from the greater UB community. The items will be available to students at no charge, ensuring they are ready for their interview, job fair or internship. HIRED will also be a safe place for LGBTQ students to obtain professional clothing.
Captain: Tricia Kandler, director of Facilities and Building Procurement
Jeffrey Angiel, Director of Facilities Operations, University Facilities
John Atkinson, Associate Professor, Civil, Structural and Environmental Engineering
Nicole Dell, Assistant Dining Director, Campus Dining and Shops
Sara Goodman, Incubation Program Manager, Business and Entrepreneur Partnerships
Elizabeth Hladczuk, Student Union Associate, Student Unions
Domenic Licata, Instructional Support Technician, Visual Studies
Karen Peissinger, Environmental Health Officer, EH&S
Michael Walker, Custodial Supervisor, Campus Operations