There are many opportunities to connect with a community of like-minded University members. Even with social distancing in place and most events going virtual, there are still ways to engage in sustainability through opportunities like the student Bigbelly Poster Design Contest.
Bigbelly solar compactors (pictured above) help reduce landfill space with the use of solar power. Solar panels on top of each bin collect and store energy from the sun. The energy is used to power a compactor mechanism that reads a waste bin’s fill-level and triggers an automatic compaction of the waste, increasing the bin’s capacity by up to eight times.
As Bigbelly units placed throughout campus are starting to weather with time, the units will be wrapped as a beautification project. The design contest is both a community engagement and recognition opportunity for students, especially for aspiring artists. The winning designs will be used to rewrap the Bigbelly bins across campus for all to see. More details about the contest and how to send submissions can be found here.
While this opportunity is geared towards students, University staff members can get involved in sustainable initiatives by joining the Green Reps program. Green Reps are a team of University of Rochester employees from different departments who care about workplace sustainability. They act as sustainability advocates, teachers, and liaisons in their department. Green Reps receive a monthly e-newsletter, The Compost, which contains tools, tips, and resources. Any staff member can become a Green Rep by completing this simple sign up form. Green Reps hold events on a quarterly basis and are planning a virtual cooking class next.
An accessible way for anyone to engaged with sustainability at the University is to follow Facilities Team Green and other organizations on social media. UR Sustainable has accounts on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram. Updates on recycling and events are often posted on social media and the University’s sustainability blog, The Green Dandelion.
Written by Emily Su, Class of 2022