Before the formation of the Green Team, there was limited paper, magazine, newsprint, aluminum, and cardboard recycling available in the Curtis Building. While recycling for these materials did exist, the lack of convenience was a major obstacle. Employees had to take materials to the loading dock in the basement. They were also responsible for collecting and emptying their own paper recycling. Another obstacle was a lack of awareness as to what could be recycled and where. An initial waste audit revealed that 57% of the building’s waste was recyclable paper. Other materials found in significant amounts include newsprint, aluminum cans, plastic bottles, and chipboard. In May of 2006, the Curtis Building Green Team was formed and began meeting regularly. The team, charged with increasing recycling rates, promoting waste reduction, and encouraging the purchase of environmentally responsible products, is made up of representatives from various bureaus from the Kansas Department of Health and Environment, as well as the Department of Commerce, Kansas Board of Regents, building maintenance and building housekeeping. The team works closely with the Division of Facilities Management and Deffenbaugh Industries to provide more opportunities for recycling, waste reduction, and environmentally responsible purchasing. Thus far, the team’s accomplishments include: - Introduction of a desk-side paper recycling receptacles - Establishment of recycling stations for newsprint, magazines, and cardboard and chipboard on every floor - Expansion of plastic bottle and aluminum recycling program so that there are now receptacles in most of building’s break rooms as well as other areas - Providing information and encouragement on purchasing recycled content paper and remanufactured toner and printer cartridges. - Including the collection and transportation of recyclables into our janitorial contract when it was renewed. Now the janitorial contractor handles all of the recycling. The team has also been responsible for initiating an outreach and education campaign that targets recycling, waste reduction, and recycled content purchasing. The campaign has so far included e-mails, the creation of a building recycling guide, a display in the first floor lobby and the distribution of paper recycling guidelines, and information about remanufactured toner cartridges and double sided printing. The team’s future plans include: Incorporating environmental concerns into annual KDHE employee picnic, by phasing out the use of Styrofoam tableware and providing recycling receptacles for the event; Starting again with Friday Facts, a biweekly recycling, waste reduction, and environmentally responsible purchasing facts and tips e-mail; Continuing waste reduction and purchasing campaigns.show less
The annual reporting period will begin soon. Results will be displayed here.