University Facilities and Services would like to formally introduce Facilities Team Green (FTG). FTG is a sustainability-focused group of student staff. The group’s mission is to increase education and awareness of sustainability among the University of Rochester community.
The team is managed by the University of Rochester Recycling Coordinator, Amy Kadrie. The Recycling Coordinator works to promote sustainability, decrease the University’s solid waste output, and increase the amount of material recycled, reused, or eliminated from the waste stream. The three student staff positions that support the Recycling Coordinator are the sustainability assistant, the sustainability writer, and the sustainability marketing intern. The sustainability assistant continuously develops the University’s recycling and sustainability programs, increases awareness and education about sustainability on campus, and drafts applications for awards, among other projects. The sustainability writer reports sustainability news to the University community through Go Green articles, like this one. The sustainability marketing intern creates promotional material and helps lead events such as the annual RecycleMania competition.
If the name “team green” sounds familiar, that is because FTG modeled its name, logo, and job descriptions after a similar group of students employed for Dining Services known as Team Green. The two groups share similar goals and get together periodically to collaborate and share ideas. By using a similar name, FTG hopes to market itself as successfully as Dining’s Team Green and also show the connectivity between the groups.
FTG is involved in many events throughout the year that support recycling and sustainability. RecycleMania occurs every year and is an eight-week long competition between universities across the country to see which institution can recycle the most material. This annual contest provides a fun and competitive way to increase recycling, and it raises awareness about the overall amount of waste our university produces and the importance of being increasingly environmentally friendly. Another inter-college competition is the Game Day Recycling Challenge, where universities challenge each other to recycle the most during a home football game. E-Cycle Day raises awareness about the important practice of technology recycling. Every October, University Facilities and Services coordinates this event to collect faculty and staff members’ old or unwanted electronic devices. Each year thousands of pounds of electronics are repurposed, recycled, and ultimately diverted from landfills. In July, University Facilities and Services hosts Shred Fest, in which University community members’ personal documents can be shredded and recycled, which conserves trees while disposing of documents securely. At the end of each academic year, the University partners with local charities to repurpose items left behind such as food and clothing in an annual event known as the Move-Out Cleanout. These events recycle large quantities of material that otherwise would have entered the waste stream and also raise awareness about the importance of sustainability.
Another central goal of FTG is to thoroughly and effectively communicate information about sustainability on campus to the greater University community. To this end, the group disseminates information about sustainability online, posts recycling guides and signage, and introduces sustainability concepts to freshmen at orientation. The primary forum that FTG uses to communicate is The Green Dandelion blog. Articles in the blog highlight noteworthy projects taking place on campus and beyond, and offer green tips and other information to engage readers in sustainability. Every Friday, FTG members share what they find most interesting about sustainability in the Students Corner, and they also help produce weekly Green Tips. FTG uses several other communication outlets as well. Go Green articles are published in the @Rochester employee newsletter, the Weekly Buzz, and other UR publications. The UR Sustainable Facebook page presents details about events, fun pictures, interesting articles, and other pertinent information regarding sustainability at the University. Liking this page is a great way to participate in sustainability on campus.
FTG is enthusiastic about the sustainability initiatives to come throughout the year. We hope you will join us at our events, peruse our articles, and get involved with sustainability here at the University of Rochester.
Written by Abigail Fagan, Class of 2014