Question of the Week: Benefiting Organizations from Move-out

July 9th, 2014 | Kyle Reed

ChicoBag-win-meTime for our Question of the Week!

The first person to respond with the correct answer will win a reusable OSU ChicoBag.

Submit your answer here (“Leave a Reply,” below) or on our Facebook page. Only one post per person, please.

Question of the Week

OSU students donated 22,408 pounds of donations during this year’s move-out donation drive. Name four of the eight benefiting organizations who received donations this year.

Answer

The following organizations received donations from the Res. Hall Move-out Donation Drive:

You can learn more about move-out, including past years results, by visiting our webpage.

And congrats to Valeria for winning this week’s Question! Great job.


OSU collects 11 tons during Donation Drive

July 7th, 2014 | Kyle Reed

We’ve finally finished collecting the weights from the wood donations, and the results are in: OSU students donated 22,408 pounds of donations as a part of the Res. Hall Move-out Donation Drive this year.

2014 MO results infographicThe weights by category are as follows:

  • 10,027 pounds of housewares
  • 1,897 pounds of food, toiletries, and school supplies
  • 6,664 pounds of clothing, bedding, and linens.
  • 3,820 pounds of wood
  • 296 pounds of electronic waste (not counted in donation total because it was recycled)

This year saw an increase in the amount of housewares that were donated, but large decreases in the other categories. The amount of E-waste which was collected remained about the same from last year.

It is uncertain what caused the decrease in donations, but some possible examples include less waste being generated (ie, students taking belongings home early) or donatable items being thrown away.

Donations over Time

While this did not meet our goal of 28,000 pounds, it still exceeded the 2012 weight, as well as last year’s goal of 22,000 pounds. Over the past five years, OSU has diverted nearly 100,000 pounds of belongings from the landfill through the donation drive.

A total of 27 volunteers from the community helped sort the donations into their respective categories. The donations were given to local nonprofit organizations, such as the Heartland Humane Society, the Parent Enhancement Program, and the Linn Benton Food Share. A portion of the donations were also resold at the OSUsed Store to help cover the costs of collecting them throughout the donation drive.

We’d like to thank the students of OSU for once again making the donation drive a successful event, as well as all of the volunteers for helping us pick up and sort through all of the donations.

Visit the Move-out History page on our website to learn more about the results from previous years.

The Res. Hall Move-out Donation Drive is an annual event coordinated by Campus Recycling in collaboration with Surplus Property and University Housing and Dining.


Question of the Week: Recycled Water Bottle Energy Savings

July 2nd, 2014 | Kyle Reed

bottle-isolated-win-meTime for our Question of the Week!

The first person to respond with the correct answer will win a reusable 20 oz. OSU water bottle.

Submit your answer here (“Leave a Reply,” below) or on our Facebook page. Only one post per person, please.

Question of the Week

Recycling saves energy, as it costs less to recycle a material than it does to make it from scratch. If you were to recycle five plastic water bottles, how many hours would you be able to power a 60 watt CFL light bulb from the energy savings? (Hint: The EPA has a calculator for this on their website.)

Answer

You could power a 60 watt CFL bulb for 48.9 hours with the energy savings from recycling five plastic water bottles.

The EPA reports that only 9% of the total plastic waste generated in 2012 was recycled. Excluding transportation energy, the US used approximately 17 million barrels of oil in the production of water bottles, enough to fuel a million American cars for a year. Combined with the fact that bottled water is more expensive than tap, the option does not appear to be a very sustainable one.

While important to recycle, it is even more important to reduce the amount of waste being produced in the first place. By using a durable reusable water bottle, you can save resources and money.

And congratulations to Lisa for winning this week’s Question!

Time for our Question of the Week!
The first person to respond with the correct answer will win a reusable OSU cold cup with straw.
Submit your answer here (“Leave a Reply,” below) or on our Facebook page. Only one post per person, please.
Question of the Week
- See more at: http://oregonstate.edu/sustainability/blog/2014/06/question-of-the-week-ice-cream-containers/#sthash.hnUTYXnF.


Student job opening: E-Waste Project Coordinator

July 1st, 2014 | Andrea Norris

now-hiringMaterials Management (comprised of Campus Recycling and Surplus Property) is hiring one E-Waste Project Coordinator, a student worker position, for fall term 2014.

This position will help OSU become e-Stewards certified for electronic waste disposal by April 2015 (E-Stewards is a standard that is recognized worldwide for organizations who dispose of electronics responsibly). The position will also assess the current processes used for processing e-waste at OSU and make recommendations for improvements.

This position is funded through a Wage Grant from the Student Sustainability Initiative, but the employee will work at the Property Services Building at 644 SW 13th Street and report to the Warehouse Coordinator.

Job duties:

  • Identifying the qualification requirements for e-Stewards.
  • Evaluating OSU’s current vendors’ certifications and qualifications for e-Stewards certification.
  • Completing time studies on dismantling computers.
  • Researching and identifying vendors for computer components and raw materials.
  • Identifying space and tool requirements needed for disassembling computers.
  • Outlining safety issues and resolutions for disassembling computers.
  • Presenting to Materials Management proposals for alternative e-waste recycling options.
The successful applicant will determine the best processes for e-waste recycling and help OSU become e-Stewards certified.

The successful applicant will determine the best processes for e-waste recycling and help OSU become e-Stewards certified.

More Information:

The student will start work near the beginning of fall term 2014 in late September and work 10-20 hours/week on weekdays 8 am-5 pm through the end of fall term in December (it is possible the employee could continue working beyond that date in a different role). Starting pay is $9.50/hr. The successful applicant may earn academic credits if allowable by their academic department.

Applications are due August 8th. For job requirements and application instructions, please visit Campus Recycling’s website.


College of Ag – Open SDD Program Advisor Position

June 27th, 2014 | Sam

The College of Agricultural Sciences is looking for a full time employee for their SDD Program Advisor position.

The primary purpose of this position is to recruit for and advise Ecampus and campus-based students about the OSU Sustainability Double Degree (SDD) Program. This position requires knowledge of, commitment to, and participation in Oregon State University’s first-year academic advising program. This faculty member will design, maintain and/or carry out program activities to ensure that all people have equal employment opportunities and equal program participation opportunities.

Advising 2

This position will be 65% Recruiting/Advising, 30% teaching, and 5% serving.

The individual in this position will help students match their personal strengths and interests with opportunities within the University curriculum and they will help design assessment plans for the program.

Other than spending time with students, the position will involve maintaining student records using My Degrees and Banner as well as writing letters of recommendation for students in the program.

This position will include being the SDD Program’s internship coordinator and they will also monitor and modify curriculum. It will also be required to attend and participate in meetings, conferences, and seminars to gain ideas for program improvement and to promote programs.

Use of information technologies, like Blackboard, blogs, wikis, and various others will be important teaching tools and the individual will also develop and produce communication and recruitment materials for the SDD Program.

The successful candidate will work alongside the College Head Advisor and will serve on department, college, and university committees and maintain active membership and involvement in professional organizations.

A Master’s degree in environmental science, environmental economics, environmental sociology, sustainability, economics, or related field is required and experience teaching at a high school or college level is preferred.

See the link below for further information. To receive full consideration applications must be received by July 1, 2014.

Check out posting #0012608 on the OSU jobs page!


Question of the Week: Ice Cream Containers

June 25th, 2014 | Kyle Reed

cup-sun-win-meTime for our Question of the Week!

The first person to respond with the correct answer will win a reusable OSU cold cup with straw.

Submit your answer here (“Leave a Reply,” below) or on our Facebook page. Only one post per person, please.

Question of the Week

Included is a photo of a ice cream container. Around campus (excluding within Res. Halls), into what bin would you sort a ice cream carton?

ice cream carton

Answer

Ice cream containers are not recyclable on campus, and would be sorted into the trash.

Ice cream containers are not commonly collected at recycling facilities. The reason for this is due to the materials that make up the containers, as well as the problem of food contamination.

However, ice cream containers are collected for recycling at the First Alternative Co-op, who work with a recycler that collects such materials. You can learn more about what they recycle here.

And congratulations to Seema for being the winner of this week’s Question of the Week!


Corvallis Performs a Community Greenhouse Gas Inventory

June 23rd, 2014 | Sam

Corvallis Greenhouse Gas Inventory

Sustainability Program specialist Scott Dybvad got in touch with us about the city’s first Greenhouse Gas Inventory.

“The City of Corvallis released results of the first Community Greenhouse Gas Inventory. The final report shows overall greenhouse gas emissions for the community in 2012 were 1,257,115 Metric Tons Carbon Dioxide Equivalent (MT CO2e). The year 2012 was chosen for study as it was the most recent year with full data availability.

The inventory estimates the quantity of greenhouse gases emitted from sources and activities in Corvallis and breaks them into categories:

The consumption of food and goods ranks highest among the categories, comprising over 40% of overall emissions. This category estimates worldwide greenhouse gas emissions for food and goods consumed in Corvallis. The second largest category of emissions is electricity, with over 27% of the community’s greenhouse gas impact. This may come as a surprise to some due to the perception that most electricity in the Pacific Northwest is generated by hydropower. While that may be the case for the region, a large majority of Corvallis’ electricity is supplied by fossil fuels (80%).

The 2012 Community Greenhouse Gas Inventory Report is the first to estimate emissions from the Corvallis community and provides insight into where emissions are generated. It also provides a baseline that may be used to monitor future emission-reduction efforts by the community.”

The inventory, as part of the Energize Corvallis programs, was supported in part by a three-year Climate Showcase Communities grant awarded in 2011 by the Environmental Protection Agency.
The report can be found on the City of Corvallis website at www.corvallisoregon.gov/CommunityGHGInventory. For more information, contact the City’s Sustainability Program Specialist, Scott Dybvad.


Alaffia Bike Donation

June 19th, 2014 | Alaina Hawley

Have an extra or broken bike? On Saturday, June 21st the First Alternative Co-op North Store will be hosting an Alaffia Bike Donation drive. So far Alaffia has collected more than 3,500 bikes and shipped them to students in 40 different rural villages in central Togo. All viable bikes are restored and given to students who have at least a 7km walk to school in order to shorten their commute time. Less time getting to and from school allows for more time to study and has shown an increase in retention. Of those who have received a bike there is a 98% retention rate and 95% passing rate on annual exams.

Donated bikes waiting to be shipped to Togo

From 11am to 3pm on June 21st you can get rid of your old bike or bike parts and help support this organization in their efforts to keep Togolese children in school. Just take your donations straight to the truck and keep perfectly good bikes and their parts out of landfills. If you can’t make it on the 21st, both Co-ops will be taking donations beforehand, just go into the service center to make your donation.  Thanks for your contributions!


Question of the Week: Clamshells at Sorting Facilities

June 18th, 2014 | Kyle Reed

spork win meTime for our Question of the Week!

The first person to respond with the correct answer will win a reusable OSU spork.

Submit your answer here (“Leave a Reply,” below) or on our Facebook page. Only one post per person, please.

Question of the Week

Material Recovery Facilities (MRFs) are locations where recyclable materials are sorted and separated. Where would plastic clamshells be sorted into?

Answer

The trash.

There are many reasons why clamshells are not accepted in MRFs: it is nearly impossible to check the material which they are made of, clamshells often have food contamination, which because of these facts, lead to clamshells having no market value as a recyclable material.

You can read more about why clamshells are considered trash on our Recycling Mythbusters blog post.

And congrats to Valeria Ursu for being this week’s winner of the Question of the Week!


SSI Project Grant: Solar Vehicle Team Solar Array

June 16th, 2014 | Rachel Tholl

The OSU Solar Vehicle Team received $3,000 in funding from the SSI this term. Project leader Wilkins White and the team used the grant funds to build a new car for competition in the World Solar Challenge in 2015. Funding from the SSI offered students first-hand experience working with solar energy and the basic knowlege required to implement alternative energy sources into their own personal projects. Wilkins wrote a short summary for the Ecologue.

____________________________

The goals of the OSU Solar Vehicle Team are to give students real world experience in engineering and to raise awareness about sustainable transportation and solar energy.  One of the projects which our group is always the most excited about is the creation of our vehicle’s solar array; an ongoing project that first got me involved with the team my freshman year.

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When I joined the Solar Vehicle Team over a year ago I knew nothing about photovoltaic cells, they were some magical material that took power from the sun and converted it to energy.  When I started on the array project I was constantly impressed with the density of knowledge about the subject within this small group of people.  I came to learn not only how photovoltaic cells work and how to use them, but also their limitations and how to minimize their inherent weaknesses.  This year I stepped into the role of mentor to teach others the secrets of the magical energy producing wafers and it was a blast!  As we continue with the design of our newest solar vehicle I am looking forward to passing on the knowledge I have gained from this team and seeing the innovative ways our members incorporate this technology into their own personal projects.

- Wilkins White