Tag: recycle

More ‘Phactoids’: London, corn tent, recycling

The countdown to our 50th anniversary continues. New since our last edition of the Log:
• A large contingent of UW-Green Bay students — more than 100 juniors and seniors, which back then was close to 5 percent of the student body — spent January 1970 in London with the new university’s first overseas study tour.
• UW-Green Bay alumni were big supporters of Bayfest and the Alumni Corn Tent during the heyday of the former campus festival. Corny memories and costumes.
• We linked to this page from Friday’s Log Extra newsletter. If you missed it, UWGB was ahead of its time in the collection of recyclables.

TV-5 spotlights student plastic recycling


What started last year as an idea during an internship, students at UW-Green Bay have turned into a campuswide clean-up effort. Matt Malcore and Anna Gribova told TV-5 News they’re nearing one ton of plastic bags and shrink wrap collected, baled and recycled. The University’s Public and Environmental Affairs Council, or PEAC, is behind the effort.

That’s a wrap: Students keep ton of plastic bags out of waste stream

top-plastic-film-recycleIt hasn’t even been on campus for a year, but the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay plastic film recycling program has already processed the equivalent of nearly one million plastic bags.

“We’ve recycled somewhere between 1800 and 2200 pounds of plastic film,” said former student intern Matthew Malcore. “Not all of it has been just plastic bags, but assuming the weight of a plastic bag is 5.5 grams, this equals the weight of between 816,000 and 997,900 plastic bags. Approaching the weight of one million plastic bags in under a year, just at a community level. That is pretty amazing to me,” Malcore said.

The goal of the plastic film recycling program is to keep plastic films, such as grocery bags and pallet wrap, from the waste stream. When not collected separately, the films can pose problems. If thrown into the garbage can, the plastic film would end up in a landfill, but attempting to recycle it along with plastic or glass containers and paper, could clog the sorting machines at the recycling facility, which are typically designed to handle rigid materials.

“Aware of this problem, we were searching for a better solution,” said Felix Pohl, sustainability communications manager. “If we collect plastic films separately, they do not pose a problem in the waste stream and furthermore the material can be re-purposed by specialized recycling companies.”

In order to accomplish this, an Environmental Management and Business Institute (EMBI) intern took on the job.

“One of our former interns in the EMBI internship program had made contact with Zeus Recycling from Sheboygan regarding plastic film recycling and wondered if EMBI could assist in providing intern support to Zeus in order to launch a pilot program on plastic film recycling here on campus,” said John Arendt, EMBI Associate Director. “Utilizing the Great Lakes Internship Initiative grant, EMBI offered student Matthew Malcore to provide Zeus with that help to begin the plastic film pilot.”

The program officially began on March 1, 2014, when 12 drop-off boxes, provided by Green Bay Packaging, were placed in various locations around campus, including 10 in public areas and two in maintenance areas.

“As we essentially started the program without any particular funding, we utilized donated cardboard containers and mounted self-made signs on them,” said Pohl.

story-plastic-filmAs the student intern, Malcore (pictured at left) was in charge of collecting the plastic film at each of the collection points, sorting, and baling the material. Beginning halfway through the fall 2014 semester, Malcore has been helping to transfer the management of the program to the Public and Environmental Affairs Council (PEAC).

“A significant part of our outreach was to involve the students from PEAC, a great student organization bringing together students from all over campus who share a genuine concern for how we build our future in the face of environmental challenges,” said Pohl.

Malcore, a member of PEAC, will be helping the organization to continue the program.

“As PEAC is now the group responsible for the program, I will be continuously training members on how to collect, differentiate and bale the plastic,” said Malcore.

The program was implemented October of 2014, starting with bins placed in the laundry rooms of residence halls.

“Some bins were packed full after the first week and others took a bit longer to fill,” said Kayla Billet, Residence Life Eco-intern and Co-leader of the Residence Green Life Committee, “The committee members then bring the collected plastic film to the larger collection box in the Community Center. From there the organization PEAC does the collecting and packaging for further recycling.”

The program’s popularity has spread past the boundaries of campus as well.

“Currently, the popularity of plastic film is growing throughout the state, said Arendt, “We have seen other campuses start programs, but UW-Green Bay was the first. K-12 schools are taking on recycling, and the Wisconsin DNR is promoting the program.”

Plastic film recycling programs are a step in the right direction, but according to Malcore, eliminating all use of these plastics is the best solution.

“Single-use plastics have become a growing problem, especially as pollutants of the oceans,” said Malcore, “Using cloth bags instead of plastic bags and re-using water bottles instead of purchasing new ones constantly is always preferable to using single-use plastics. Even though more of the single-use plastics, such as plastic bags, increases the amount of material we reclaim and technically makes the program more profitable, PEAC is an environmental organization and the purpose of both the organization and the program is to reduce environmental impact.”

In the coming months, the program will start diverting the plastic film to TREX Decking in order for the film to find new life in the form of park benches and decks.

“This program provides the opportunity for students, faculty, and staff to first think about plastic film not as waste but as a resource and to actively divert it from the landfill,” said Arendt, “This is education in action.”
Story by Katelyn Staaben, editorial intern, Marketing and University Communication

Slideshow: Students sift mess to study recyclables

A group of UW-Green Bay students gave local recycling efforts a boost in April, donning protective suits to help out at the Brown County Resource Recovery Facility. Students of Natural and Applied Sciences Prof. John Katers, the volunteers sorted through thousands of pounds of recycled material as part of a waste characterization study designed to help them learn more about people’s recycling habits. Their study attracted plenty of media coverage. Senior Katie Hobbs told NBC 26 there’s more to recycling than people may think. “It’s not just plastic or glass, there’s a million different little things that it breaks down into,” Hobbs said. “A lot of people are probably throwing out things that could be recycled.”

(Click thumbnails to enter slideshow view.)
 NAS students volunteer at Brown County Recovery Facility, April 2014  NAS students volunteer at Brown County Recovery Facility, April 2014  NAS students volunteer at Brown County Recovery Facility, April 2014  NAS students volunteer at Brown County Recovery Facility, April 2014  NAS students volunteer at Brown County Recovery Facility, April 2014  NAS students volunteer at Brown County Recovery Facility, April 2014  NAS students volunteer at Brown County Recovery Facility, April 2014  NAS students volunteer at Brown County Recovery Facility, April 2014  NAS students volunteer at Brown County Recovery Facility, April 2014  NAS students volunteer at Brown County Recovery Facility, April 2014  NAS students volunteer at Brown County Recovery Facility, April 2014  NAS students volunteer at Brown County Recovery Facility, April 2014  NAS students volunteer at Brown County Recovery Facility, April 2014  NAS students volunteer at Brown County Recovery Facility, April 2014  NAS students volunteer at Brown County Recovery Facility, April 2014  NAS students volunteer at Brown County Recovery Facility, April 2014  NAS students volunteer at Brown County Recovery Facility, April 2014  NAS students volunteer at Brown County Recovery Facility, April 2014

More media: Students’ role in recycling study gets additional airtime

We’ve got more media coverage to share on a Brown County recycling study and UW-Green Bay students’ role therein, this time courtesy of WBAY, Channel 2. Reporter Kristyn Allen spent time this week at the county’s resource recovery facility as UW-Green Bay students and Associate Prof. Christopher Martin sorted through mounds of recyclables as part of the waste characterization research. It’s all part of Martin’s “Hugging Trees: Humanity, Morality & the Planet” Phoenix GPS (Gateways to Phirst-Year Success) class, which incorporates a service project as part of the first-year effort to get and keep students engaged in college. You can check out more about the class and Phoenix GPS online, and check out the news story.

In the news: Student recycling efforts featured on channels 5, 26

Both Local 5 News and NBC 26 checked out UW-Green Bay students hard at work sorting recyclables Wednesday (April 30), running stories about their efforts at the Brown County Resource Recovery facility. The students are sorting through thousands of pounds of recycled material as part of a waste characterization study designed to help them learn more about people’s recycling habits. “Recycling is something that everybody can do to make the world a better place, especially in times of climate change and pollution,” freshman Katlyn Hansen told Local 5. “And I think it’s important to know what you can and cannot recycle, and how to sort through the stuff.” Senior Katie Hobbs told NBC 26 there’s more to recycling than people may think. “It’s not just plastic or glass, there’s a million different little things that it breaks down into,” Hobbs said. “A lot of people are probably throwing out things that could be recycled.” You can catch the stories, here:
Local 5 News
NBC 26

Right recycling: Katers’ students to help sort items for class project

A group of UW-Green Bay students will give local recycling efforts a boost in the coming weeks, sorting recyclables at the Brown County Resource Recovery Facility. Natural and Applied Sciences Prof. John Katers on Tuesday (April 15) spoke with NBC26 reporter (and UW-Green Bay alumna) Raquel Lamal about the project, which dovetails with a class study on protecting the environment. “I’m really excited that the UWGB students get to get involved in this,” Katers said. Check out the full story.

Like a Boss: Recent grad, Habitat project featured on NBC 26

We told you here recently about UW-Green Bay alumna and Habitat for Humanity ReStore volunteer and resource coordinator Chiara Boss, who has been spreading the word about the store’s holiday lights recycling program. On Jan. 1, Boss and the program were featured in an “NBC 26 Cares” segment that talks about why it’s important to recycle. “Holiday lights that are thrown into our landfills pose a threat to our wildlife,” Boss said. “Animals can choke on the strands of lights or get tangled by them, and then it also takes about 100 to 1,000 years for these lights to decompose.” As of Friday (Jan. 3), the ReStore already had collected more than 4,000 pounds of old holiday lights. You can check out the full NBC 26 segment, as well as our UW-Green Bay News story about Boss and the program, here:
NBC 26 Cares segment
UW-Green Bay feature story
 

Reminders on battery disposal and recycling

With fall “fall back” season upon us this weekend with the end of Daylight Savings Time, and all the reminders to check your smoke detector batteries, it seems the time is right for a reminder here on campuswide procedures for common battery disposal and recycling:

· Alkaline batteries (AAA, AA, A, C, D and 9 volt) should be discarded in the regular trash. Because some batteries might retain a residual charge, avoid disposing of large quantities of batteries together.

· Button batteries should be placed side by side between two layers of tape and sent to Jill Fermanich, Business and Finance, via campus mail. These batteries look like coins and are found in watches, calculators, cameras and other small equipment. They need to be recycled through the state’s hazardous waste disposal contractor.

· The following rechargeable batteries should be placed in plastic bags and put in a Call2Recycle bin (this list includes most common rechargeable battery types):
— Nickel cadmium (NiCD)
— Nickel metal hydride (NiMH)
— Lithium ion (L-ion)
— Small (< 8 lbs.) sealed lead (Pb) batteries

Call2Recycle bins are located in these areas:
— Cofrin Library 3rd floor
— Operations office (IS 1204)
— HVAC shop (IS 1067)
— Grounds (PP102)
— Environmental Health office (CL 823)

For disposal of other batteries or for disposal of any material for which you have questions, please call (ext. 2273) or email Jill Fermanich.

Reminders on battery disposal and recycling

With fall “fall back” season upon us this weekend with the end of Daylight Savings Time, and all the reminders to check your smoke detector batteries, it seems the time is right for a reminder here on campuswide procedures for common battery disposal and recycling:

Alkaline batteries (AAA, AA, A, C, D and 9 volt) should be discarded in the regular trash. Because some batteries might retain a residual charge, avoid disposing of large quantities of batteries together.

Button batteries should be placed side by side between two layers of tape and sent to Jill Fermanich, Business & Finance, via campus mail. These batteries look like coins and are found in watches, calculators, cameras and other small equipment. They need to be recycled through the state’s hazardous waste disposal contractor.

• The following rechargeable batteries should be placed in plastic bags and put in a Call2Recycle bin (this list includes most common rechargeable battery types):

Nickel cadmium (NiCD)
Nickel metal hydride (NiMH)
Lithium ion (L-ion)
Small (< 8 lbs.) sealed lead (Pb) batteries

Call2Recycle bins are located in these areas:

Cofrin Library 3rd floor
Operations office (IS 1204)
HVAC shop (IS 1067)
Grounds (PP102)
Environmental Health office (CL 823)

For disposal of other batteries or for disposal of any material for which you have questions, please call or email Jill Fermanich at ext. 2273 or fermanij@uwgb.edu.