Department of Environmental Conservation

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EEA Winners: Schools/Universities

Columbia University

Picture of solvents being recycled at Columbia University

Project: Solvent Recycling Program

Year: 2014

Brief Description: Columbia University was awarded for implementing a multi-faceted, comprehensive on-site solvent recycling program. In 13 years, the program resulted in more than 45,000 gallons of solvents being recycled, with a cost savings of about 3 million dollars. Columbia University is achieving environmental successes, reducing costs and improving the health of its campus community. This "triple bottom line" approach establishes a model for universities and laboratories.

Columbia University Detailed Case Study (PDF) (310 KB)

University at Albany

Picture of SUNY's You've Got the Power to Conserve.

Project: You've Got the Power to Conserve

Year: 2011

Brief Description: The University at Albany (UAlbany) was honored for its comprehensive, low-cost energy conservation program that includes a wide variety of activities to educate students and faculty and transform the entire campus community to become environmentally responsible. In conjunction with its education efforts, this unique energy conservation program reduced CO2 emissions by 11%, reduced electricity use by over 5 million KWh, reduced heating use by 7.4%, and saved 1 million gallons of water. UAlbany is also realizing an economic benefit. From the inception of the program, it has achieved annual savings of approximately $700,000.

University at Albany Detailed Case Study (PDF) (202 KB)

Dryden Central School District

Project: Recycling and Composting Program

Year: 2011

Picture of Dryden's Go Green logo

Brief Description: Dryden Central School District was awarded for turning its grassroots recycling program into one of the most comprehensive and ongoing recycling and composting programs in New York State. After signing onto the national "Go Green" initiative in 2008, the district developed an outstanding sustainability program that involves all 1,900 students and 380 faculty and staff. Elementary students and staff work together on "Green" teams to oversee all aspects of the Go Green initiative. Students serve as Go Green "ambassadors" who supervise and manage the collection and separation of food-related compost, recyclables, and trash throughout the school. In the middle school and high school, a student-run Sustainability Club manages improvement of the recycling and composting systems throughout the school. Dryden students demonstrate a strong desire to make their school and community and our world more sustainable.

Dryden CSD Detailed Case Study (PDF) (281 KB)

University of Rochester

Picture of University of Rochester's Go Green Logo

Project: "Go Green! Conserve and Save!" Program

Year: 2011

Brief Description: The University of Rochester received an award for their program which includes a wide variety of activities to better educate and involve the campus community in energy-efficient and sustainable practices. In 2008, the university's president formed the Council on Sustainability to spearhead new initiatives and achieve tangible results. U of R is the first college or university to join the "Pride of NY" Program. Approximately 20% of the food purchased by U of R's dining services is produced or processed in New York State. Each year, residence halls compete in the "UR Unplugged" Program to achieve energy reductions. The university partners with local charities during the "Move Out & Clean Out" Program to collect and donate clothing, shoes, furniture and food. As a result of this diverse program, the university has prevented nearly 95 metric tons of CO2 emissions annually, reduced electricity use by more than 6.5 million kWh, saved nearly 8 million gallons of water and diverted almost 4,000 tons of waste from being landfilled.

University of Rochester Detailed Case Study (PDF) (229 KB)

Brewster School District

Project: Environmental Education and Sustainable Practices Project

Picture of Brewster School children working on project

Year: 2008

Brief Description: The Brewster School District was awarded in 2008 for its multi-faceted Environmental Education/Sustainable Practices Project to protect the environment and promote environmental education. This comprehensive project includes significant capital improvements and managerial processes to save energy and protect the region's water supply. It also includes educational activities that develop student awareness of environmental issues and empowers them with opportunities to participate in meaningful, innovative, hands-on activities that have measurable environmental impacts.

Brewster School District Detailed Case Study (PDF) (276 KB)

Union College

Picture of Union College

Project: U-Sustain Initiative

Year: 2008

Brief Description: This campus-wide initiative reduces Union College's ecological footprint, increases environmental awareness on campus and in the community, and makes the college more sustainable. The program involves many creative partnerships on campus to generate eco-friendly practices across campus, including a renovated eco-friendly student housing building, greater use of recycled paper, a reduction food waste in dining halls, increased recycling rates, and an outreach education program to encourage sustainable practices.

Union College Detailed Case Study (PDF) (367 KB)

Syracuse City School District

Project: "Going Green" Program

Picture of Syracuse City School District Green Team

Year: 2007

Brief Description: This program was modeled after the national Go Green Initiative program and was honored for active commitment to engaging their campus communities in environmentally-friendly and resource-saving activities. The Green Teams, formed by over 30 schools in the district, involved many teachers, administrators, students, and parents in projects such as recycling and composting. Other green activities included school cafeterias replacing styrofoam trays with recyclable paper bags, replacing incandescent light bulbs with fluorescent light bulbs, and requiring that school facility renovations or construction projects meet LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) standards. By "Going Green," the district effectively promoted environmental education and in the process empowered students to be proactive leaders in protecting out environment.

Rochester City School District

Project: Energy Conservation and Education Program

Year: 2006

Illustration of Savings & Reductions by Rochester City School District

Brief Description: The district was honored for its commitment to improve energy efficiency through an innovative and fiscally sound energy management program. Concurrently, the district advanced the education of sustainability, energy efficiency and renewable energy to K-12 students and teachers. As an incentive to participating schools, the district provided a 50% return of documented annual energy savings to fund energy-related educational expenditures. Schools partnered with corporate professionals to form green school clubs to perform service-based learning projects. Students conducted energy patrols at their schools equipped with tool kits for measuring and recording lighting lumens, temperature, air velocity and energy consumption of appliances. Teachers were graded for compliance and were rewarded for good energy conservation practices in their classrooms. At that time, the district committed to purchasing over 8 million kWh of renewable energy annually, making them the second largest school building purchaser of renewable power nationally.

Rochester Institute of Technology

Project: Center for Integrated Manufacturing Studies (CIMS) - Resource Recovery Project

Picture of RIT CIMS Sign

Year: 2004

Brief Description: The project created and implemented a novel method for recovering parts used in copiers around the world, thereby conserving resources and reducing solid waste transferred to landfills. The basis for this project began with a research project conducted by CIMS that investigated the reusability of two components that are typically replaced in the toner cartridge re-manufacturing process. One of the components under investigation was the toner cartridge wiper blade, routinely discarded since no cost-effective method to assess the component quality was previously available. The Wiper Blade Edge Analyzer developed by CIMS inspects the blade's edge for minute defects and enables the reuse of this part. This project highlights a collaboration between academia and industry to simultaneously create new technology, create new jobs and expand the tax base, all while reducing the amount of material going to landfills. As of July, 2004, the Wiper Blade Edge Analyzer has enabled nearly 600,000 wiper blades to be diverted from landfills. In the four facilities that are analyzing and recovering these wiper blades, an average of 100,000 blades are being processed every month. This translates into almost 24 tons of metal per month.

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