GCC`s Stride toward Sustainability

by Jeremy Arnold
October 16, 2020

Sustainability is a word that has been frequently popping up in the past few years. I’m sure you’ve seen this term used on packaging of items anywhere from food to beauty products but what does it actually mean? According to Matthew Mason, a leading correspondent in environmental sciences, sustainability is an effort to protect our environment, human and ecological health, while sweeping towards innovation without disrupting our way of life. Businesses as well as individuals have been observing the impacts their actions are having on our planet. The consensus within the scientific community is that human activities are having a profound effect on our environment and the resources.

Ray Strzelecki, Assistant Director of Maintenance and Grounds, says GCC is in the process of implementing sustainable practices. Genesee Community College recently constructed two new buildings, and the college made efforts to minimize the environmental impact. Some of the efforts GCC has taken towards sustainability during this construction was installing 18,000 sq. ft of garden and green space, recycling over 95% of all cardboard and metal used, and installing indoor LED light fixtures.

The college also wanted to ensure they were taking care of the grass clippings and other organic material, so GCC created a compost pile where these materials are broken down organically instead of being taken to the dump. The majority of plastic and cardboard produced by GCC is taken by Waste Management, who sends the materials to be processed into their original elements. Outdated electronics like laptops, printers, and monitors are taken by Computer Services to be recycled. Currently, College Village does not have any recycling programs, but employees are attempting to create such programs. For the time being, recycling can be taken up to the college where it will be recycled with the rest. Everyone can take steps to improve how we treat our environment. It can be as simple as reusing plastic bags or taking them to a local grocery store where there is a plastic bag return. Other efforts can be buying items that include less plastic packaging or even looking into recycling programs that repurpose household items. The fate of the planet is in our hands.

Want to know more about sustainability and recycling programs? Here are some resources for further reading:

Center for Biological Diversity

Environmentalscience.org

Environmental Protection Agency

Free Recycling Programs – TerraCycle