SCAD has initiated the first phase of a multi-year effort to implement single-stream recycling at all of its Savannah facilities.
In October 2009, 88 large blue drums appeared at several residence halls, including Boundary Village, Dyson House, Weston House, Turner House, Oglethorpe House, Pulaski, Barnard Village and Forsyth Hall. Bins have been ordered for the remaining residential facilities.
John Housley, Executive Director of Physical Resources for SCAD, confirmed that academic buildings will come fully online in 2011 and all offices by 2012.
Pilot recycling efforts at Arnold, Eichberg and Gulfstream have proven successful and will continue during the interim, as will the practice of using blue tubs to collect white paper in the offices. Signs are being produced to post near the drums to clarify what can and cannot be recycled, and a Physical Resources/Recycling link will be incorporated into SCAD’s Web site.
The City of Savannah did not offer curbside recycling to residents until January 2009, and even then, exempted commercial properties and multi-family residential complexes from the program. To fill the gap, SCAD officials worked with the city to develop its own single-stream recycling program, whereby waste is collected from each school site by the sanitation crew and then transported to the dumpster in front of Old Arch. The city picks up the dumpster for recycling as needed.
Patty Henke, Assistant Director of Residential Programs, explains that students have been at the forefront of leading changes. She points to the recycling and sustainability discussions led by the resident assistants at Barnard Village in the fall as well as other small-scale programming by Project Green.
“It may take baby steps,” Henke said, “But things gain momentum.”
In January SCAD’s Council on Sustainability hosted a week-long discussion, [Un]disciplined, covering a breadth of sustainability measures, including specific community projects and the media’s role in covering green initiatives. The program gave Housley an opportunity to convey SCAD’s commitment to reducing its carbon footprint.
“Blue drums are just a subset of everything we do at SCAD,” he said, rolling off a list of other practices:
- Use of low VOC paints that are recycled after use;
- Recycling fluorescent bulbs and diner grease;
- The switch to salt-based water systems at the pools at Dyson and Turner Annex;
- Installation of energy-efficient blinds, foam insulation, and low-flow shower heads; and,
- Initiation of a voluntary U.S. Environmental Protection Agency audit program.
He also cited the geothermal water heater project at Turner Annex that will roll out this spring. If the solar power experiment shows promise, it may be replicated at other facilities.
Housley highlighted SCAD’s repurposing of almost 70 buildings among its Savannah, Atlanta, Lacoste and Hong Kong campuses for education, administration and living. Only four buildings are new.
“A reused building requires about one-third the materials a new building requires,” said Housley, “and that is a benefit to our environment.”
What can be recycled in the blue drums?
- Aluminum soda cans
- Cans and containers made from steel.
- Commingled plastics #1 and #2, such as soda bottles, detergent containers, and milk jugs.
- Scrap metals, such as old bicycle parts and stripped air conditioning units.
- White goods, such as old appliances.
- Corrugated cardboard.
- Paper, including magazines, junk mail, newspaper, copy paper, and cartons.