Sustainability Initiatives

Talking Trash at the Student Center

Zero Waste
To help in the campus-wide initiative for zero waste by 2020, indoor triple-stream recycling stations have been installed throughout the Conference Center. The three bins are color coded black for landfill, green for compost, and blue for recyclables. Each bin is equipped with signage to help with sorting. When items are properly composted or recycled, they can become value resources like energy, soil or turned into new products like aluminum. Recycling existing materials takes 95% less energy than it does to create new materials.
  • Green – Organic waste like banana peels or paper waste soiled with food or liquid should be sorted for compost.
  • Blue – All clean and dry items such as plastic bottles, glass bottles or paper should be recycled.
  • Black – Materials soiled with food or liquids such as ketchup packets, potato chip bags, or coffee cups soiled with liquid should be sorted for landfills. Landfill should always be the last option for your waste.
When wondering what goes where, your food can be composted along with a soiled napkin. The plastic container your food was in goes into the recycling bin if it’s clean and dry. Your plastic utensils would go into the landfill. With this three-bin system, UCI will meet its campus-wide diversion rate goal of 95%.

Lay Waste to Landfills Bigbelly Trash Cans on the Terrace

Big Belly Trash Cans
Newly installed Bigbelly trash cans with convenient foot pedals for handless operation are a visible commitment to sustainability at the Student Center. These smart trash cans use cloud-driven technologies for a real-time management system that improves operational performance and organizational efficiency. Solar-powered sensors measure a can’s capacity and signals a compactor that presses the trash down. This allows each Bigbelly to collect eight times more waste than standard bins. The sensors communicate real-time status to collection crews and sends an email notification to staff that indicates how full they are. Recycling diversion rates can be more accurately measured and have the potential to reduce CO2 emissions and fuel costs by reducing the number of scheduled collections.

Drought-Tolerant Landscapes Taking Root

Ferns native to California along with Pink Muhly grass, French lavender, Sun Drops, and Snowberries were added to the Cross-Cultural Center planter and Peltason Street landscapes. A drip irrigation system was installed and all broken or leaking sprinklers were replaced to conserve water. These low-water solutions are colorful, at times fragrant, and reduce maintenance costs all while adding a visual appeal to The Center.

Tuesday, October 23, 2018