click to viewMississippi State named top recycling institution
Officials from the Mississippi Recycling Coalition were at Mississippi State Tuesday [Jan. 14] to present the university with the "Educational Institution Recycler of the Year" award.
The organization recently named its 2013 Environmental Award winners, honoring cities, institutions and organizations statewide for outstanding recycling projects.
Jeremiah Dumas, MSU associate director of the Office of Sustainability, said recycling and sustainability efforts on campus are the product of extensive research and trials over the past three years. Upon discovering that more than 90 percent of waste in offices on campus was comprised of recyclable materials, initiatives were set in motion to establish the campus-wide program.
Led by the Office of Sustainability and the Campus Sustainability Committee, the program collects paper, cardboard, plastics, metals and aluminum in buildings throughout campus. Drives to recycle toner cartridges, used oil, batteries and electronics also are in place.
Dumas said offices produce the biggest bulk of recycling materials, so trash cans in offices throughout campus were converted to single-stream recycling receptacles.
Mark Williams, who works with solid waste policy planning and grants with the Mississippi Department of Environmental Quality and also serves as an advisor to the board of directors for the Mississippi Recycling Coalition, said that every community throughout the state must have a waste reduction strategy, and every state agency and college campus is required to have a recycling program.
"Mississippi State's program is the kind of model we want to replicate throughout the state," Williams said, adding that not only does the recycling program divert reusable materials from landfills, but also creates jobs.
Sarah Kountouris, executive director for Keep Mississippi Beautiful and president of the board of directors for the Mississippi Recycling Coalition, said MSU has set a standard for other universities and community colleges to follow. She thanked custodial and landscape staff on hand for their work in bringing the program to life.
"They're the ones who make this program work," Kountouris said.
The university collected 306,628 pounds of recyclables over a nine-month period in the 2011 fiscal year. In the following fiscal year, the collection grew to 613,672 pounds, nearly 51,139 pounds per month. Additionally, Dumas said researchers are continually evaluating the effectiveness of the programs and waste reduction practices on campus.
For more information on sustainability efforts at MSU, visit http://www.sustainability.msstate.edu/.
click to viewUniversity implements lighting control project
Mississippi State University is adding another component to its sustainable campus initiative.
MSU has partnered with SmartWatt Energy to implement a large-scale energy efficient lighting and lighting control project, commonly referred to as SmartLighting.
The project will remove more than 14,000 outdated T-12 and HID lamps throughout the campus and replace them with high-efficiency lighting and lighting controls technologies, which will allow the lighting to be automatically turned off when not in use.
MSU's goals are to improve interior lighting quality, while reducing energy consumption across facilities. The project will decrease air pollution and environmental damage, and will have the same effect on the environment as planting 866 acres of trees or removing 558 cars from the road each year.
SmartWatt provided an investment-grade lighting audit of campus facilities to prioritize the project rollout. The campus will upgrade up to eight total buildings, which account for approximately one million square feet of space.
Average annual energy savings are anticipated to be nearly $400,000, with annual maintenance savings projected to be more than $80,000. The entire $3.5-million phase one project is self-funded and financed by the university through costs savings achieved from the improvements.
For more information about SmartWatt, visit www.smartwattinc.com.
Sid Salter | Public Affairs
click to viewCampus Wide Recycling Program
The Mississippi State University single-stream recycling program has now been in place for over two years. This program fundamentally changed the way that we collect recycling and waste on the campus and we are still evaluating and reviewing our procedures in order to see how effective this program is and how we can make it more efficient at reducing our waste stream into our local landfill.
The single stream program was developed around the capabilities of the contractor who was awarded the contract. The current contractor (Waste Pro) does not collect glass - so please note the following when recycling:
Recyclable Items: (place in all office containers or any labeled recycling container)
Metals and Aluminum
Trash: (bathrooms, kitchens, other non-recycling containers)
disposable cups and plates
chip and candy wrappers
label backing sheets
Thanks for your effort and support with this program and if you have specific questions, please email Jeremiah Dumas at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Green Fund
MSU is excited to offer a new opportunity for students, faculty, and staff to help Mississippi State University (MSU) become a more sustainable campus. The MSU Green Fund is an optional contribution that will be used to fund sustainability efforts on campus. Together, we are investing in MSU's future and reducing our campus's carbon footprint. Help MSU go green! Opt-In to the Green Fund today! For more information, please visit www.sustainability.msstate.edu/greenfund/
- MSU surpasses sustainability goals early, continues green initiatives
STARKVILLE, Miss.--Upgrading infrastructure and making operations more efficient are two key changes that have allowed Mississippi State University to reduce its energy consumption by 37 percent.
MSU's Sustainability Committee remains committed to continuing and growing that trend across campus, said J.D. Hardy, MSU energy and mechanical engineer for the committee.
Mississippi Institutions of Higher Learning created the Energy Task Force in 2006 and set a goal, by 2016, for Mississippi universities to reduce their energy consumption by 30 percent per square foot. Hardy said MSU is already years ahead of schedule, thanks to the university-wide focus on incorporating infrastructure upgrades and encouraging more efficient building operation.
"For example, if you take a building that didn't have a very good means of controlling the energy consuming equipment -- like air conditioning systems or boiler systems -- and then install modern controls that allow an operator to 'program' a schedule for the operation of that equipment, it quickly reduces the energy consumption of the facility," Hardy said.
Continued renovations across campus also have played a big role in lowering campus energy consumption at MSU, he said. By replacing older water boilers and chillers with more efficient ones, the university is developing effective strategies for long-term savings. Additionally, new facilities at MSU are designed and constructed with the most efficient building systems available.
"We have very talented folks on campus who know how to add the right controls equipment and then operate buildings on a very efficient schedule," Hardy said.
In fiscal year 2006, campus electric and natural gas consumption totaled 162,000 British thermal units per square foot, he said, but the sustainability committee and its resource-efficiency plan has decreased MSU's Energy Usage Index to its current level: 102,000 Btu in 2012.
"If we had continued to use energy at the fiscal year 2006 levels from 2007 to 2012, we would have spent over $21 million more on electricity and natural gas, due to the higher rate of consumption," Hardy said. "Considering that campus grows in square footage every year and energy rates go up every year, it is increasingly important that we lower our Energy Usage Index as much as possible every year."
As university leaders look to future sustainability initiatives, consumption-reduction efforts will focus more on education through ECO PAW, a campus wide energy education and assessment program, said Jeremiah Dumas, director of the Office of Sustainability and vice president of the sustainability committee.
"With 5,000 faculty and staff and over 20,000 students, it is imperative that we educate all the people of this campus so that they can help us reach our goals with every decision that they make," he said. "This includes operations and daily decisions in their offices, their procurement guidelines and standards, as well as their travel and transit behaviors."
Hardy agreed and said the real challenge lies in changing people's habits, and correspondingly, that kind of change could make the greatest impact on reducing consumption across campus.
"The savings that can come from encouraging people to make the best energy decisions can easily have more impact at a much lower price tag than any type of equipment upgrade," he said. "If everyone turned their office equipment and lights off when they weren't using them, and if everyone raised the cooling set-point or lowered the heating set-point a couple of degrees, I imagine I would be getting a call from the power company wondering what was going on at MSU."
Along with continuing system upgrades, other continuing energy consumption-reduction initiatives include upgrading obsolete and inefficient lighting systems with longer lasting and more energy efficient systems and developing an "Ice Storage Plant" to produce ice at night during summer months to use to meet the campus's chilled water needs during the day, Hardy said.
"The administration has allowed facilities to spend money on upgrades with the understanding that it is a business decision with a very attractive return-on-investment," he said. "By funding these upgrades and by letting our MSU folks execute energy upgrade projects, we have leveraged our in-house resources to improve our facilities at the best possible value."
Hardy said, administrative support, as well as continued promotion of sustainability initiatives across campus, will allow MSU to continue its mission of reducing energy consumption.