Friday, September 18, 2009

Zero-Sort Recycling

This is a reprint of information shared with faculty and staff in a slightly different format & venue earlier this semester.

To increase our recycling effort at SUNY Canton, this semester we will transition to “Zero Sort” recycling. All recyclable materials including cardboard, paper, plastic, glass and metal will be collected as a single stream and placed in a single collection container for removal by Casella. Casella is currently placing new “green” colored collection containers Zero-Sort Container near our buildings on campus labeled “Zero Sort”.

Similar “blue” colored collection containers will continue to be used for the purposes of collecting solid waste materials.

An initial order of desk side recycle containers and other miscellaneous recycle containers for public areas, etc. should be arriving in the next few weeks. The Physical Plant will deploy these containers as soon as received. All recyclable materials including cardboard, paper, plastic, glass and metal should be placed in these containers. Please be sure your bottles and cans are empty prior to recycling them. Solid waste materials should be placed in other waste receptacles located in areas common to offices, public areas, etc. Until new containers arrive, please collect your recyclables by whatever means you are currently using, cardboard box, etc.

To learn more about “Zero Sort” recycling visit

Thank you in advance for participating in this effort.

Michael R. McCormick
Director of Facilities

Thursday, September 3, 2009

New LED Bulbs a Breakthrough

Over the past few years we have cut our household electricity consumption by nearly 70%. By the end of 2008 I was feeling as if we had hit a wall. For the previous year our monthly usage had fluctuated within a narrow range around 150 kwh per month.

Then in early January 2009 I heard about a new LED light bulb that is equivalent to a 40 watt bulb, uses 1.5 watts an hour, and cost ten dollars. While it sounds expensive, it is far cheaper than other LED bulbs. I went out and bought a few, using them selectively on the porch, in hallways, on the landing of the staircase, and in a computer/desk lamp. In some places such as the kitchen, baths and reading lamps we continue to use compact fluorescent bulbs or regular light bulbs.

The results have been impressive, cutting another 40 kwh per month from our home electric bill. The reason is that replacing a 15w compact fluorescent bulb with an LED means we are reducing our use by 90%. The bulbs are mercury-free and are available at Ace Hardware stores throughout the region.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Conservation is Cool!

One of the biggest misconceptions about conserving energy is that we would all end up sitting in the dark and cold. Not true. In the European Union per capita energy consumption is far less than North America, but the standard of living is about the same. While the excellent public transportation in Europe would account for some of this difference in energy use, it is not the whole story.
Conservation is a concrete action we can all take to shape our shared energy future in a positive way. Conservation means one less power plant to build and pay for, and fewer transmission lines through someone’s back yard who does not want them there. Conservation buys time to figure out energy alternatives, saves money, and partially insulates us from the vagaries of national and international energy markets.
So far from being a dirty word, conservation is our friend. In a time of energy uncertainty and financial crisis, here is something we can do, even as we embark another busy academic year here at SUNY Canton.