Refill station keeps plastic bottles (4,298 and counting) out of landfills

water bottle refill station, University UnionBy installing a water bottle refill station in the University Union, UW-Green Bay is taking another small step toward reducing its carbon footprint and maintaining its reputation as “Eco-U.”

The refill station gives students, faculty and staff a green alternative to purchasing bottled water. The station was installed September 24 and is a collaborative effort between the University Union and the Student Government Association.

As of October 14, the refill station eliminated 4,298 plastic 16 oz. bottles that would be sent to the landfill. There has been a positive response from the student body due to the refill station being fun and easy to use, according to Kelly Kramp, manager of programs, promotions and marketing at the University Union.

“It’s our hope the trend will change behaviors on campus and encourage more students and faculty to become aware of this option and look to utilize reusable bottles,” Kramp said. “This will be both an environmental and dollar-saving initiative, for everyone who drinks water on the UW-Green Bay campus.”

water bottle refill station, University UnionThe user-friendly refill unit is a combination drinking fountain and refill tap. The refill unit is located behind the drinking spout and is hands-free as it operates by a sensor and fills up the reusable bottle.

The unit generates instant gratification as it counts each refill and allows users to see how many plastic bottles they are keeping out of the landfills.

The Union has future plans to install more refill stations in other locations around the building; however, they will need to wait until funds are available as each unit cost approximately $1,200.

UW-Green Bay has long been known for its strong leadership in sustainability issues, conservation and environmental science.

— Story by Daniele Frechette, editorial intern, Marketing and University Communication

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