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The waste reduction group seeks to increase the sustainability of waste management of OSU.
Composting in the Residence Halls
Last year, the SSI conducted a pilot composting program in Halsell Hall. This year, we hope to bring composting in as many of the residence halls as possible. The goal is not only to provide composing opportunities to on-campus students, but to equip them with the information they might need to continue composting when they move elsewhere.
OSU Composting Facilities
The ultimate goal of this project was to create a facility on campus that is capable of processing all of Oregon State's organic waste. A temporary spot was determined on Washington Way that could handle a pilot program collecting organic waste from a few OSU buildings to determine utilization, logistics, cost, and viability of a composting facility on the Oregon State campus. Initial findings suggested that at the time the project might be unvaible due to the scale at which such a facility would be efficient and effective. While the project was tabled, there is the potential it could be picked back up in the future and re-examined.
Composting Pilot in Halsell Hall
The SSI conducted a pilot composting program in Halsell Hall to help promote composting in the dormitories and to explore if this would be a possibility in all residence halls on the Oregon State campus. The pilot program was started at the beginning of spring term with a generous donation of composting bins from Allied Waste; each suite (54) in Halsell was given a composting bin but the program was voluntary. Approximately 50 pounds of organic material was collected every week with virtually no contamination. This indicated that, if implemented on a larger scale, residents might use the composting bins properly.
Ban the Bag Campaign
The SSI and Mary's Peak - Sierra Club worked to pass a city ordinance that banned the use of single-use plastic bags at retail checkout stands.
Recycle Mania is a nationwide 10-week competition between hundreds of universities and colleges to see who can recycle the most. In 2012, there were various recycling events throughout campus on a weekly basis. One of the highlights for the SSI was hosting an event to promote the use of reusable coffee mugs and bottles by asking students to pour their beverage of choice from their disposable into a reusable that we provided.
Worm Bin Workshop
These workshops promoted composting by providing OSU community members with materials to construct their own vermicomposting bin. The participants were each given a pre-drilled tote and were supplied shredded recycled paper so that they could make the "bedding" for their worms. After each participant created the perfect atmosphere for their new pets, they were each given half a pound of worms to help kick-start their bin. The workshop consisted of a presentation in the beginning going over the basics of worm composting followed by the construction of the bins and the follow-up consisted of a comprehensive guide being sent to all participants; the guide was created by Oregon State University's Extension Services.
Zero Waste Events
There are hundreds of events that happen throughout an academic year. The vision of the Zero Waste Events campaign was that all these events would promote the production of zero waste. To promote this culture, SSI sponsored a handful of events, ensuring that they created no waste and helping organizations recognize the ease and importance of creating events that reduce the amount of trash going to landfills.
Campus Carbon Challenge
This project aimed to motivate members of the OSU community to make lifestyle changes and reduce their carbon footprint. This year the Campus Carbon Challenge was put on as a joint effort by the Sustainability Office, the College of Business, and the SSI. We teamed up with these partners to help integrate sustainability into the curriculum of the College of Business. We also worked with Professor Erik Larson to have Project Management students help organize the project.
Recycled Craft Night
This is an event that happens most terms, with the fall term event happening on November 30th from 2-6 pm in the SSC. Projects include paper-crafting and light switch covers. This is a great way to make a craft project or two as a free gift to take home over the break to friends and family, or to just create something fun for yourself.
This is an event that will be happening monthly starting in the Winter term. We have had one so far this year, with much success. Clothing swaps are a great way to clean out your wardrobe of old clothing and get some nice new things to replace them.
Composting in McNary
In the 2009 - 2010 school year, a small group of students made a plan and initiated composting in McNary residence hall. This program ended due to a lack of student interest, but has paved the way for future composting projects.