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Campus Life Services to Pilot Going Greener Campaign

Later this month, the Millberry Union Plaza is going to be one campus location that's kinder to the environment. Retail Services, part of Campus Life Services, will be introducing a "Going Greener" campaign to the UCSF Parnassus campus plaza. In direct alignment with UCSF's ongoing environmental sustainability efforts, "Going Greener" will add a new composting program to the existing recycling efforts. "Retail Services is excited to expand this program to include customers and the general public and to contribute to UCSF's sustainability efforts," says Tamara Villarina, Retail Services assistant. The composting program will be piloted in the Millberry Union Plaza for six months while Retail Services and Capital Programs & Facilities Management (CPFM) partner on the details of introducing the program at other campus locations. Three types of bins will be available in the plaza:
  • Composting for food, paper, paper plates, napkins, milk/juice cartons, paper cups, tea bags and coffee grounds.
  • Recycling for plastic bottles and containers, soda cans, aluminum cans, foil, glass bottles and jars.
  • Garbage for styrofoam, straws, drink lids, chip and snack bags, plastic bags, condiment packages, plastic bottle caps and plastic wrap.
"We have created dynamic signage to hang above each bin to direct patrons to the appropriate receptacle," says Villarina. In addition, campus vendors are participating in the effort by offering compostable to-go ware, which can be placed in the compost bin instead of the garbage bin. The goal of the program is to make customers aware of the options they have when it comes to recycling, and to ultimately reach a UC systemwide goal to meet or exceed a 50 percent waste diversion rate by June 30, 2008, Villarina notes. Implemented by CPFM's recycling coordinators Kathryn Hyde and Susan Bluestone, environmentally friendly programs already in place at UCSF include a vendor composting program for kitchen organic waste from food preparation, and participation in San Francisco's ban of polystyrene foam (Styrofoam). The vendor composting program has been successful since its inception in April 2004, reducing garbage collection in Millberry Union by 10 percent, according to Hyde and Bluestone. Retail Services is looking for volunteers who want to be involved in the Going Greener campaign as "Green Ambassadors." For the first two weeks of the composting program, Green Ambassadors will be available at lunchtime to assist plaza patrons by providing information about the appropriate disposal of trash, bottles, cans and compost. The success of the "Going Greener" effort depends largely on the support and participation of customers. For more information about this program or to signup as a Green Ambassador, contact Retail Services at 415/514-1395. For more information about UCSF's sustainability efforts, visit the website.