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The Oregon State University Sustainability Blog

Benton County Fair Looking For Volunteers

June 30th, 2015

The annual Benton County Fair (July 29-Aug 1) is currently looking for volunteers to help with the waste stations. Volunteers will help fair-goers sort their waste into compost, recycling, and trash.
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As compensation, volunteers will receive a FREE FAIR TICKET if they work 2 hours. Free parking passes will also be provided to all volunteers.

All volunteers will be given training prior to the fair.

Visit Benton County Fair’s website for sign-ups and for more information.

Res. Hall Donation Drive breaks record with 17 tons collected

June 29th, 2015

Results are in for this year’s Res. Hall Move-Out Donation Drive and we are pleasantly surprised!

Results infographic

An estimated total of 33,950 pounds – or 17 tons – of donations were collected, far exceeding our 24,000-pound goal! This was 1.5 times more than last year and breaks all records we’ve kept since 2010.

Chart showing donations increasing over time

Every category increased this year, as can be seen in the table below.

Category 2014 Weight (lbs.) 2015 Weight (lbs.) Percent Increase
Housewares 10,027 13,268 32%
Clothing, Shoes & Linens 6,664 9,706 46%
Wood 3,820 7,618 99%
Food, Toiletries, School Supplies 1,897 3,358 77%
Total Donations 22,408 33,950 52%
Staff and volunteers unload a truck full of donations to be sorted.

Staff and volunteers unload a truck full of donations to be sorted. Click to view larger.

 

Why the increases? It is possible that some are due to the addition of a new res. hall (Tebeau) and The Gem participating in the program for the first time this year. As always, we also hope that this reflects a smaller amount of reusable material ending up in dumpsters.

Special thanks to the estimated 35 volunteers who contributed 152 hours of their time to collect and process donations this year. And of course thank you to UHDS for their continued role in the program and to our residents who chose to give away rather than throw away!

Pallet-size boxes full of donations await pick-up by non-profits.

Pallet-size boxes full of donations await pick-up by non-profits. Click to view larger.

While a portion of the materials are resold at the OSUsed Store to cover the costs of the program, the majority are given to local non-profits. This year that included Community Outreach, Helping Hands in Albany, Jackson Street Youth Shelter, Linn Benton Food Share and more. See a full list on our Donation Drive webpage.

Learn more about this history of the Move-Out Donation Drive on our history webpage.

The Res. Hall Move-out Donation Drive is an annual event coordinated by Campus Recycling in collaboration with Surplus Property and University Housing and Dining.

Drug Take Back Event at Benton County Fairgrounds

June 26th, 2015

The Benton County Sheriff’s Office has partnered with the Philomath Police Department, Benton County Fairgrounds, and the Benton County Health Department to offer a Drug Take Back Event this Saturday, June 27th from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

prescription-drugs

The event is targeted to prevent the misuse of prescription drugs as well as to help keep the drugs from contaminating our drinking water.

Things that should be brought include expired or unwanted prescription medications for you, your family or pets, unneeded over-the-counter medications, medicine from deceased family members.

If possible, please leave medicines in their original containers. You can use a black permanent marker to conceal any personal information.

Please DO NOT bring: needles, lancets or sharps of any kind including EpiPens; thermometers or other mercury products; intra-venous solutions or injectables; electronic glucose monitors; medical or hazardous waste of any kind; or illegal drugs.

Medications can be accepted from households only. The event will not accept any medications from institutions such as nursing homes, doctor’s offices, veterinary clinics, foster homes or any other business.

More information about the event is available here.

3-D Printing with Recycled Plastic

June 18th, 2015

3-D printing technology has advanced so greatly that relatively inexpensive 3-D printers are now available and popping up all over the OSU Campus. The Valley Library recently made 3-D printing available to any student and also has a 24 hour web cam set-up for viewing of the articles being made (http://guides.library.oregonstate.edu/3Dprinting).

One major drawback at the moment is the plastic available to make articles. Both the type of plastic the Valley Library 3-D printer is specifically designed to use and the most common used plastic in other 3-D printing technology are plastics that are NOT recycled. None of the Big Six Plastics (the six largest commodity plastics which are commonly recycled and labeled with recycling codes 1 through 6) are currently used in 3-D printing but there is no technological reason why they couldn’t be used.3dprint2

Our goal is to pull these plastic materials from the OSU recycled plastic waste stream, sort them into their individual recycling codes, shred them, and then process them using a laboratory scale plasticating extruder available in the CBEE Polymer Lab into a fiber to be used as the feed to a 3-D printer. The plasticating extruder, a common plastics processing piece of equipment, simply takes the solid polymer feed, melts it into a liquid, which then can be passed through a die to produce fiber of a desired diameter and length. We have this equipment in the lab and have recently purchased a MakerBot Replicator 2x 3-D printer (http://store.makerbot.com/replicator2x) like the one currently in the Valley Library (and at 7 other sites on the OSU campus, see them all here).

To date, we have been able to collect HDPE (#2), PP (#5) containers and PLA cups from the OSU waste stream. They have been sorted, shredded and washed. The plastics were fed to the plasticating extruder to produce filament suitable for the 3-D printer and have been successfully used as filament feed in the 3-D printer. However, since neither HDPE nor PP have ever been used in 3-D printing anywhere, we are still working on establishing the 3-D printing specifications for these materials. Once we have perfected the technology, we will make this material available to the Valley Library so students can make 3-D articles from recycled plastics, a much more sustainable way to produce articles which generally do not have stringent performance requirements.

To learn more about 3-D Printing at Oregon State, visit their site here.

2015 Move-out Donation Drive has begun!

May 26th, 2015

As mentioned in our previous post, OSU hosts the Move-out Donation Drive at the end of each year. This year, our goal is to donate 24,000 lbs, and you can help!

How Can I Help?

Live in a Res. Hall? Donate your items!

move-out-2015-web-instructions

Donation Drive How-To’s. Click to view larger.

It took your 30 weeks to move into your room; now you have 2 weeks to move-out! Donation bins are being placed on the ground floor of your hall this week. Items accepted for donation include:

  • Food that is unopened and non-perishable (please place in bag provided grocery bags)
  • Toiletries and personal hygiene products (please place in bag provided grocery bags)
  • Dry clothing, bedding and towels
  • Household items like décor, dishes, lamps, electronics, etc.
  • Broken electronics, CDs/DVDs and ink cartridges (to be recycled)
  • Furniture, bicycles and loft bed kit wood (place outside on the ground next to your dumpster)

Check out this guide for a suggested timeline for getting things done before final exams hit.

Volunteer

move-out-volunteer-buttonAssist with the donation drive on June 11th, 12th and 15th, receiving and sorting material with Campus Recycling staff in the warehouse, or joining our crew to go out on routes!

See shift times and sign-up to help using this form.

The Res. Hall Move-Out Donation Drive is a collaboration between OSU Campus Recycling, Surplus Property, and UHDS. Visit the Move-Out page for more information on the Donation Drive.

 

May Dot Sale at the OSUsed Store on the 27th

May 25th, 2015

Much of the OSUsed Store’s merchandise will be on sale at our Dot Sale on Wednesday, May 27th between 12:00 and 3:00 p.m.

Specially marked items throughout the store will be 50% off. All merchandise with orange dots and white tags, as well as chairs, will be buy one, get one free. Orange dotted items include computer peripherals (monitors, printers, video cards, etc.) and white tagged items include housewares, office supplies, lab glass and equipment, and more.

The OSUsed Store carries computers and computer accessories, furniture (desks, file cabinets, tables, chairs, bookcases, etc), office supplies, sporting goods, household items, bicycles and much more.

The OSUsed Store is located at 644 SW 13th Street in Corvallis (view on Google Maps). The store is operated by OSU Surplus Property and sells surplus equipment and material to departments on campus as well as members of the public during special public sales, in an effort to reduce landfill waste and keep money in the university.

While our public sales provide an opportunity for the general public to make personal purchases, departments are welcome to shop 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays, or during public sales.

See our other sale dates on our calendar. For more information, visit our OSUsed Store page or contact us.

2015 IAAS USA National Summit by Ann Bernert

May 21st, 2015

IAAS USA National Summit 2015

Ann Bernert

5/15/2015

This April, Oregon State University College of Agricultural Sciences hosted the 2015 National Summit meeting for the International Association of Students in Agriculture and Related Sciences. The theme was “Local Soils to World Solutions” and Dr. Dan Arp made a great Welcome Address connecting this idea to our generation’s challenge of feeding 9 billion people in 2050. The Welcome Address kicked off the trade fair event in which the attending Universities were able to showcase agricultural programs and state’s agriculture. Attending universities included Iowa State, University of Minnesota, Washington State, University of Nebraska-Lincoln, North Carolina State, and Clemson. The following day was a collection of tours exploring local Oregon agriculture and highlighting how students at Oregon State University get involved in sustainability, agriculture and related sciences. Included in this tour was a hike through McDonald Dunn research forest, learning about organic growers club and honey bees at Oak Creek Center for Urban Horticulture, making cheese at the Beaver Classic™ creamery, learning about brewing at the student pilot brewery and then checking out the growing small businesses of 2Towns Cider house and Nectar Creek Honeywine. Then, a full day of presentations followed with topics ranging from agroforestry to bilingual education. The themes of the symposium for these presentations were sustainability in agricultural systems, business, international development, water, and natural resources. A number of Oregon State CAS professors and extension agents participated and presented their international work and experience making Oregon State University students particularly proud to be a part of the College of Agricultural Sciences here. The conference finished off with the final business meeting for the student organization which covered the successes of the past year and decided upon directions in which to take the organization in the future year. The new Executive Committee was elected into office and a new social media board was instated. Overall, the IAAS USA National Summit 2015 was an incredible and inspiring event that motivated students to continue upon their professional pursuits of careers in sustainable international agriculture.

Day of Caring Service Projects

May 20th, 2015

Registration is now open for Day of Caring Service Projects on May 29th! Students, staff, and faculty are invited to participate in this day of service. Choose from 6 different projects with 6 community partners, which will take place from 2-4 PM or 2-4:30 PM. Check-in will be on campus at the MU Lounge with transportation provided from there.

The Center for Civic Engagement is partnering with the United Way of Benton & Lincoln Counties to host this event.  Many projects can accommodate children and youth as well. Take a look at the list below to find out what project you might enjoy!


 

Philomath Youth Activities Club, 11 volunteers are needed. Youth over age 14 are welcome with supervision. Project time 2-4pm.Day of Caring 5.29.15 Vertical 8.5x11

Volunteers will be helping out with PYAC’s firewood project, splitting and stacking wood at their facility.

Benton County Natural Areas, 11 volunteers are needed. Youth over 12 years of age are welcome. Project time 2-4:30pm.

Volunteers will be doing activities related to habitat restoration. There is a lot of Cape Ivy to pull and path building and maintenance.

Corvallis-Gondar Sister Cities Association, 11 volunteers are needed. Supervised youth of all ages are welcome. Project time 2-4pm.

Volunteers will be making math manipulatives for students in Gondar schools.

Trillium Family Services, 22 volunteers are needed. Youth 16 and older are welcome. Project time 2-4pm.

Volunteers will be working to help set up an automatic watering system in the healing garden along with other small tasks.

Community Outreach Inc., 11 volunteers are needed. Youth 16 and older are welcome. Project time 2-4pm.

Volunteers will be painting fire lanes in front of Community Outreach Inc.

Jackson Street Youth Shelter, 10 volunteers needed, Volunteers must be 18 or older. Project time 2-4pm.

Volunteers will be packing snacks for youth and cleaning/rearranging the youth meeting house.


 

Accommodations related to disability may be made by contacting the Center for Civic Engagement at 541-737-3041 or emailing cce@oregonstate.edu.

 

Are you ready to move out? Help OSU donate 24,000 lbs during the 2015 Donation Drive

May 18th, 2015

Did you know that last year over 22,000 lbs of material was diverted from the landfill and given to local non-profits? This year the goal is to reach 24,000 lbs, and you can help!

How You Can Help

Res Hall Move-Out Get ReadyLive in a Residence Hall?

You can prepare for Move-Out by lightening your load now! Bring home any unneeded items when visiting home on the weekends, donate extra clothing in the labeled clothing bins in your Res. Hall laundry room, and eat your food before buying any more.

You can also donate unwanted or extra items into the donation bins located in the first floor lobby of each hall. Donation bins will enter Res. Halls following Memorial Day, and will stay from May 26 through June 16.

Learn more about how to donate, and what you can donate.

Volunteer

Volunteers may sort through donations or join the crew on routes. Click to view larger.

Assist with the donation drive on June 11th, 12th and 15th, receiving and sorting material with Campus Recycling staff in the warehouse, or joining our crew to go out on routes!

See shift times and sign-up to help using this form.

The Res. Hall Move-Out Donation Drive is a collaboration between OSU Campus Recycling, Surplus Property, and UHDS. Visit the Move-Out page for more information on the Donation Drive.

Sustainability Office recruiting one full time position

May 15th, 2015

A rare thing is happening in the OSU Sustainability Office: we are recruiting for a full time position! With the departure of Sonja Mae, who held the Sustainability Program Specialist position for about three years, available is an unparalleled opportunity to help make Oregon State a more sustainable university.

This position will assist in the development and implementation of policies, plans and initiatives that improve the sustainability of the university by reducing environmental impact, fostering a culture of sustainability and providing professional services that enhance the instructional, research, and service goals of the university.

A major focus of the position is to help increase the efficiency of university resource consumption (electricity, natural gas, steam, water).  Position duties include:

  • 30% Utility data acquisition and meter hardware management.
  • 30% Utility data management and analysis.
  • 35% Sustainability assessment.
  • 5% Professional development.

As a customer service organization, the position helps Capital Planning and Development and Facilities Services respond to campus community requests, while managing those expectations through customer education and outreach, and clear communication with stakeholders.

For a complete job posting, a list of qualifications and to apply online, please visit http://oregonstate.edu/jobs/. Posting # 0014638 closes May 22, 2015.

OSU commits to inclusive excellence by advancing equity and diversity in all that we do. We are an Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity employer, and particularly encourage applications from members of historically underrepresented racial/ethnic groups, women, individuals with disabilities, veterans, LGBTQ community members, and others who demonstrate the ability to help us achieve our vision of a diverse and inclusive community.

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