The Aiken Technical College Green initiative aims to foster the sustainability on campus and in our community.
What is Sustainability?
Sustainability is the ability to meet the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs. Interested faculty, staff and students are invited to join the ATC Green Team to lead, learn, and advise on activities to advance sustainability on campus. Please contact Jill Uhler for more information and watch for ATC Green communications.
ATC Green conducted its first waste audit in the fall of 2018. The audit analyzed waste from two buildings on campus to determine how much recyclable material and landfill waste the campus produces. The audit helped prepare the campus for a new recycling program started in the spring of 2019. A DHEC Collegiate Recycling grant helped ATC Green to purchase new recycling stations throughout campus. ATC Green also created posters for the bins to explain what is landfill and what is mixed recycling. Colorful posters were also created to ask people to be mindful of what is thrown in the trash and to look for their nearest recycling station. In the fall of 2019, ATC Green conducted a follow up waste audit to measure the success of the recycling program and see where the campus could do better.
The follow-up audit results showed:
- ATC recycled a little more than 20% of its waste stream -- a great result for a new program!
- The amount of organics landfilled decreased 35% since 2018, with the majority of the remaining compostables being bathroom paper towels.
- Mixed paper/fiber was the top commodity recycled, taking up 54% of the recycling stream.
- Since the audit, Custodial Staff have reduced the number of plastic trash bags used, only replacing bin bags when soiled.
Recycling and sustainability are not new to ATC. The College also recycles, repurposes, or reuses the following materials: cardboard, toner cartridges, metal, surplus property, white paper, electronics, waste oil, paint, batteries, fluorescent bulbs, textbooks, wooden pallets, and freon. ATC also follows energy efficient guidelines when purchasing appliances, building materials, and building design.
In one building alone, since December, students and staff have kept over 568 plastic bottles out of landfills and oceans!
In December 2019, ATC Green also started testing the new Elkay EZH2O® Bottle Filling Station on campus that delivers a clean quick water bottle refill and supports sustainability by minimizing dependency on disposable plastic bottles. The stations show how many plastic bottles you save with every fill-up! As of March 2020, the two buildings have kept over 1,430 bottles out of landfills and oceans! The stations are on the Administration building first floor, next to the restrooms and by the employee break room.