Ed von Bleichert Zero Waste & Ralphie's Green Stampede
1359_ 3/5/13 - "Here at CU we have one of the oldest college and university recycling programs in the country, going back to 1976." We're talking with Edward von Bleichert, Manager Environmental Operations, Department of Facilities Management, University of Colorado Boulder. Ed tells us, "Our program has some rich history as a recycling program. The term Zero Waste [ZW] is a relatively new term and tries to redefine the approach we're taking." To explain, recycling is somewhat reactive. You take the waste you're given and you try to find an outlet for it. Zero waste is really more proactive where you're looking at the inputs, throughputs, outputs, and trying to minimize waste at all of those stages. As it relates to us here on campus, it's still mostly a waste focus in terms of municipal solid waste, what would be going to the landfill as trash. But we're still being proactive in that we're going upstream, into that waste stream, and we're redesigning the waste from the beginning to make sure it's recyclable, compostable or reusable. Our biggest foray into Zero Waste started with Ralphie's Green Stampede which was the Athletic Department's initiative. It includes other initiatives in sustainability like energy and water conservation. But probably the area that's gotten the most attention is the waste elimination and the Zero Waste effort. As part of that, we literally sort through all the waste of every single home football game [the waste of 53,000 people]. Mostly to identify what is in that waste stream, and be able to design it out or find a market for it, whichever the case may be, to ultimately keep it out of a landfill. The simple definition of Zero Waste, and there are many, but for our purposes we're talking about achieving a minimum of a 90% landfill diversion rate. The campus is currently about 41% conversion rate for municipal solid waste. That doesn't include... Listen for more...
RELATED LINKS: CU wins EPA Challenge || Ralphie’s Green Stampede || Single Stream in Housing || PodCasting Directory || KEYWORDS: Ed von Bleichert, CU, Environmental Operations, Department of Facilities Management, University of Colorado Boulder, Zero Waste, Ralphie's Green Stampede, bytes=4874556
LISTEN TO: Ed Von Bleichert, Manager, Environmental Operations, CU
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