Last summer, twenty-seven water bottle refill stations were installed in academic buildings and residence halls campus-wide. A counter on each fountain adds up the total number of refills. Since installation, CC’s 27 stations have logged 296,000 refills! The hydration stations cut waste associated with single-use plastics and provide a cheap, equitable, environmentally sound alternative to bottled water.
This news comes at a time when waste reduction is in full swing at Colorado College. We’re entering our 5th year of participation in RecycleMania, a national competition and benchmarking tool for colleges and universities to promote waste reduction on campuses. CC has robust recycling and composting programs, and now we’re focusing on waste minimization.
In recent years, the Sustainability Office, EnAct and Bon Appétit have worked to supply the campus with reusable water bottles, mugs, bags, untensils and to-go containers to encourage the community to reuse items rather than adding material to the waste or recycling streams.
Next Tuesday, March 6th, we’ll take a close look at what materials are being tossed. At lunchtime on the Worner Quad, students will audit Trash Peak, a massive pile of waste that CC generates in a day. Come see what we find!
This week, Colorado College joins the ranks of more than 100 universities and colleges nationwide for Campus Conservation Nationals. In this competition, participating schools are racing to reduce electricity use. Schools can choose to compete against buildings on their own campus, or against a select group of peer institutions, with savings from all participants accumulating to reach a national challenge goal of one gigawatt-hour. Using Lucid’s Building Dashboard®, participating schools will be able to instantly compare performance, share winning strategies and track standings among the leading schools and buildings.
At Colorado College, it’s Loomis vs. Mathias vs. Slocum. Who’s winning? How close are we to the collective goal?
Click here and visit our new building energy dashboard to find out.
Composting at Colorado College officially started in 2003, with 2 tumblers in the Synergy House backyard, where individuals could drop off food scraps. In 2006, students received a Campus Ecology grant for a large scale EarthTub composter to process dining hall food waste from Rastall. Since 2008, additional community food waste has been composted and used to enrich the soil onsite at the CC Farm.
This year, CC is adding commercial composting to our solid waste services. This program will accommodate all pre- and post-consumer food waste from dining & catering. The EarthTub will be installed at the Grounds Shop to process plant matter from landscaping.
In addition, we’ll be piloting the first official residential composting program in the Western Ridge Apartments, starting this week!
If successful, we hope to expand the program campus-wide.
There are many groups organizing and implementing sustainability initiatives at Colorado College. While we work on creating our new website, we will be posting stories, announcements and events associated with CC sustainability efforts here on the new blog.