Question of the Week: Recycling Fibers in Paper

August 27th, 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 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

Each time paper is recycled, the fibers in it become shorter. According to the EPA, how many times could the fibers from a single sheet of paper be recycled before they become unusable?

Answer

Paper fibers may be recycled 5 – 7 times, according to the EPA. Afterward, the fibers become too short to be reused.

It is for this reason that paper napkins are not recyclable, as they are made from fibers which are at the end of their lifetime.

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


Now Hiring: Software Developer at Energize Corvallis

August 22nd, 2014 | Sam

Energize-Corvallis-Stacked-Logo8-300x1001

Energize Corvallis is hiring a part-time Software Developer to create an interactive website for the Classrooms Take Charge program. The website will be used by more than 6,000 students and teachers in 16 high schools throughout the Pacific Northwest. Funding for the position is provided by an Environmental Education award from the Environmental Protection Agency.

Energize Corvallis is a Program of the Corvallis Environmental Center and is dedicated to helping Corvallis become one of the most energy efficient, climate friendly communities in the United States.

Duties of this position include:

  • Collaborating with staff and volunteers to establish requirements for the website
  • Developing a system for over 6,000 users that includes user registration and tracking, results capture and summarization, dashboards, downloadable reports, real-time display of key metrics, among other features.
  • Ensuring that the system supports multiple, geographically diverse schools; provides adequate performance to intended user base; is scalable to increased usage beyond the initial 2-year Classrooms Take Charge program; provides a polished and professional user experience; and performs well across a wide range of end-user devices.
  • Creating system documentation including a high-level system design and overview, database structure, description of program code and system files, and maintenance and support procedures.

The position is 15-20 hours per week with a salary range of $23-27/hr depending on experience. The position will be open until filled.

To apply Submit a cover letter, examples of relevant work, and a resume to Carly@CorvallisEnvironmentalCenter.org. More info can be found here.


OSU Repair Fairs to be featured in national report

August 21st, 2014 | Andrea Norris

stars_logoGood news! OSU was recently contacted by the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education (AASHE), which is putting together its annual review of information universities have submitted through this year’s Sustainability Tracking, Assessment & Rating System (STARS).

repair fairsThis national report will include “campus sustainability innovations & best practices,” and the Repair Fairs have been selected to be included!

Congrats to the Waste Watchers, who organize the Repair Fairs. Learn more about the student group the Waste Watchers here.

The Repair Fairs are a twice-per-term event series at which people can bring their broken items and learn how to fix them, as well as attend demos to learn D.I.Y. skills. Repair Fairs will continue in the 2014-15 academic year and will be scheduled in the months of October, November, January, February, April and May. Stay tuned to the Repair Fair website for details.

Enjoy these photos from the most recent Repair Fair in May, which were also submitted for possible inclusion in the AASHE STARS report (click on each to view larger):

OSU Campus Recycling Student Outreach Assistant Kyle Reed shows others how to darn a sock

Campus Recycling Outreach Assistant Kyle Reed shows others how to darn a sock.

A volunteer carefully inspects a malfunctioning stereo

A volunteer carefully inspects a malfunctioning stereo.

OSU student and volunteer Ben Tankus works on a bicycle

OSU student and volunteer Ben Tankus works on a bicycle.


Question of the Week: 3-day Clearance Sale

August 20th, 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

The OSUsed Store will be holding a Clearance Sale this week from today (Wednesday) to Friday. What are the discounts that will be offered on each day?

Answer

Marked items will have a 25% off discount applied on Wednesday, 50% off on Thursday, and 75% off on Friday.

The 3-day Clearance Sale will have increased hours, lasting from 12 – 4 pm each day.

Further details about the sale may be found on the Surplus website.

And congratulations to Dann on Facebook for being the first to correctly answer this week’s Question!

Marked items will have a 25% off discount applied on Wednesday, 50% off on Thursday, and 75% off on Friday.
The 3-day Clearance Sale will have increased hours, lasting from 12 – 4 pm each day.
More details may be found here: http://surplus.oregonstate.edu/special-sale
Marked items will have a 25% off discount applied on Wednesday, 50% off on Thursday, and 75% off on Friday.
The 3-day Clearance Sale will have increased hours, lasting from 12 – 4 pm each day.
More details may be found on the Surplus website.
And congratulations to Dann on Facebook for being the first to correctly answer this week’s Question!


3-Day Clearance at OSUsed Store August 20-22

August 18th, 2014 | Andrea Norris

Clearance sale graphic

The OSUsed Store is open for a 3-day clearance sale this Wednesday, Thursday and Friday, August 20-22, at 12-4 pm each day. Take advantage of extended hours and extra low prices!

Look for special green clearance stickers on merchandise throughout the store; the prices on those items will drop throughout the week – 25% off Wednesday, 50% off Thursday and 75% off on Friday! Clearance prices will apply to specially marked items only.

Available merchandise will include computers and computer accessories, furniture (desks, file cabinets, tables, chairs, bookcases, etc), office supplies, sporting goods, household items, bicycles and much more.

The OSUsed Store is located at 644 SW 13th Street in Corvallis (view on Google Maps). The store is operated by OSU Surplus Property and sells surplus equipment and material to departments on campus, as well as members of the public during special public sales, in an effort to reduce landfill waste.

Just some of the merchandise sold at the OSUsed Store.

The OSUsed Store carries a variety of used items for sale. Click to view larger.

Public sales are typically held on Wednesdays throughout the year. This three-day clearance sale occurs annually at the end of the summer to make room for furniture that is moved around and replaced at the start of the school year.

While our public sales provide an opportunity for the general public to make personal purchases, departments are welcome to shop 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays, or during public sales. Clearance prices are only valid during the public sale times listed above, however.

See our other sale dates on our calendar. For more information, visit our public sale page or contact us.


Question of the Week: What Goes in a Worm Bin

August 13th, 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 and a $1 Gift Certificate to any UHDS Dining Center.

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

Question of the Week

Shown below are five images of items which can be composted. Which item(s) can NOT be put into a worm bin?

Animal Food WasteCompostable UtensilsPaper TowelsPizza BoxVegetable Food Waste

Answer

Animal food waste and compostable servingware are not compostable in a worm bin.

Food waste from animal products, such as meat, dairy, and eggs, can cause strong, unpleasant odors and attract pests. Meanwhile, the compostable servingware requires high temperatures, such as those created at the PRC, in order to break down. Both of these items may be composted in the curbside Yard Debris bins in Corvallis.

In a worm bin, cardboard should be torn into small strips or chunks to make it easier for the worms to digest, and fruits and vegetables which can alter the pH of the environment (ie, tomatoes and citrus) should be avoided or kept in small quantities.

Campus Recycling can provide worm bins or other composting options to interested departments, who need only to fill-out a request form to sign up.


Field Work Opportunity: Rim Fire Conifer Regeneration Study

August 8th, 2014 | Sam

13584495933_fbbcd96e57_zDrs. Chad Hanson and Dominick DellaSala are looking for field work assistance for an upcoming survey taking place in the Rim fire burn. The survey will be taking place in late August or early September of this year and all surveyors will work in teams of two.

Surveying will involve hiking cross-country through uneven terrain of varying degrees of steepness for approximately 8 hours per day.  Surveyors will need to be fit, and will need to bring basic essentials, including hiking boots, hat, sunblock, food and water each day.

Post-fire natural conifer regeneration surveys will be conducted in the 10 largest high-severity fire patches in montane conifer forest predominantly or entirely on USFS lands in the Rim fire burn, Stanislaus National Forest, western/central Sierra Nevada, using the standard high-severity fire threshold (Miller and Thode 2007).

From the nearest access point, surveys will be conducted in plots along transects through the center of the patches, with plots spaced by 200 m.  All plots will be 0.02 ha in size, and square, with corners facing in the four cardinal directions.  All distances will be determined with a laser hypsometer.  For the five largest high-severity fire patches, three transects will be conducted—one in northern portion, one in central portion, and one in southern portion.

In each plot, surveyors will: 1) mark the center point and corners with colored flags on steel posts; 2) record GPS coordinates of the center point; 3) record the species, diameter at breast height (dbh), and live/dead status of each pre-fire tree >30 cm dbh; 4) record the distance of the three nearest live trees to the plot’s center point, and the species of each of these trees; 5) record the plot’s aspect and slope; 6) record the number of conifer seedlings of each species in the plot; 7) record the height (cm) and species of the five tallest conifer seedlings in the plot; 8 ) record the number of oak seedlings and oak sprouts from the base of trees for which the above-ground portion was killed; and 9) record ground cover (both live foliage and twigs/needles).

The final product will be a manuscript coauthored by Drs. Chad Hanson and Dominick DellaSala with authorships offered to students working on the project. They are also seeking modest travel support to cover expenses in the field for about a week of work.

You can read DellaSala’s rainforest blog here and if you are interested in this project please contact Dominick A. DellaSala by email.


“Let’s Pull Together!” Invasive Plant Eradication Event

August 7th, 2014 | Sam

On Saturday, September 6th, bring your friends and family to help remove invasive plant species! The Marys River Watershed Council, a member organization ofLets Pull Together Benton Country Cooperative Weed Management, is hosting an invasive plant species removal project at a stream restoration site on Beaver Creek.

The group will be removing English ivy at the site from 9 to noon on Saturday the 6th, followed by a celebration at Willamette Park from noon to 3.

Let’s Pull Together is a trademarked event of the Orchard District Neighborhood Association (ODNA) in Bend, Oregon. ODNA began the Let’s Pull Together Event in 2003, to raise awareness about knapweed.

The mission of the Benton County Cooperative Weed Management Area (CWMA) is to coordinate community-based efforts against those invasive species that have the potential to cause ecological and economic harm in Benton County.

You can learn more at the CWMA’s website and sign up for the event here. Join in and take a step to reduce the impacts of invasive plants!


Question of the Week: Percent of E-waste in Landfills

August 6th, 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

E-waste is defined as any discarded electronics, and represents 2% of the trash in landfills. How much of the overall toxic waste does it account for?

Answer

While e-waste only represents 2% of America’s trash in landfills, it makes up 70% of the overall toxic waste.

E-waste contains many toxic chemicals, including lead, mercury, arsenic, beryllium, and cadmium. Between 80 to 85% of electronics are discarded in landfills or incinerators.

Materials Management is currently hiring an E-Waste Project Coordinator to help with its goal of becoming e-Stewards certified by April 2015. E-Stewards is a worldwide recognized standard for organizations who dispose electronic waste responsibly. Click here to learn more about the e-Stewards certification.

And congratulations to Seema Mangla for winning this week’s Question!


Solar at the North Willamette Research and Extension Center

August 5th, 2014 | Sam

The North Willamette Research and Extension Center, the site of OSU’s newest solar array, has been successfully using the produced energy for more than 5 months now.

The solar array is part of a larger OSU initiative to utilize alternative energy at its facilities. This installation, on the NWREC’s 160 acre farm across from Charbonneau and Miley Road, began construction last October and began producing electricity at the beginning of the new year.

DSC09533

The Center’s energy consumption per month is approximately 20,000 kWh and the new array has been producing between 23,000 and 35,000 kWh, considerably more than is needed. Conveniently, the excess energy is put back into the grid and the Center is given credits towards energy use during the lower production months. It is forecasted that six to seven months of the year the array will produce more energy than necessary which will help cover the remaining costs.

At NWREC, bills are paid to Solar City, who owns the array and is responsible for all the operations and maintenance, as well as PGE for line/meter charges and any power needed that isn’t produced with the solar system. So far, the NWREC expects to reduce annual electrical bills by about 50% or $10-50,000.

sheep1

A more recent addition to the array includes a new form of vegetation management. There are three sheep grazing on site for the summer to utilize the plentiful grass. The sheep are a great, low maintenance way to keep the vegetation in check and make for some happy sheep. The NWREC is also  looking at developing bee pollinator habitat for the array in 2015.

Don’t forget you can monitor the array’s data records here to see how they are doing now and in the months to come.