Recycling and Sustainable Practices
Items recycled at UNG:
- Paper, boxes, cardboard, corrugated, card stock, magazines, newspaper, etc.
- Plastic jugs, bottles, bags, containers, etc.
- All consumer metals, aluminum, steel cans, tins, etc.
- Spent fluorescent light bulbs
- Automotive batteries and building backup system batteries
- Older magnetic lighting ballasts
- Automotive tires
- Reclaimed refrigerant chemicals (Freon, etc)
- Used motor oil and various machinery oils
- Paint products
- Scrap metals
Some sustainable practices at Facilities and Operations:
- UNG has teamed up with local recycling vendors to provide a single stream recycling program on our campuses. There are multiple consumer items that are collected all over campus in key areas by our campus custodial staff. These campus staff transfer the smaller collection bins to centrally located large rolling bins that are then collected weekly and taken to a single stream recycling center for sorting.
- In Dahlonega, UNG teamed up with Lumpkin County to provide a Recycling Center in close proximity to the Dahlonega Campus over at Radar Ridge. This makes it easier for the entire community to recycle.
- On the grounds, fall leaves are mulched in place with special mower attachments by Facilities and Operations groundskeepers. This reduces energy expenditures for transportation of the waste, labor costs, and reduces the need for fertilization of these areas by an estimated 30%.
- Any time older much less efficient lighting systems wear out they are replaced with high efficiency electronic lighting ballasts and high efficiency bulbs. Incandescent light bulbs have been changed to LED’s and compact fluorescent where possible.
- Campus sink faucets have been converted from 2+ gallon per minute aerators to .5 gallon per minute. We have installed low flow shower heads on all showers. Urinals and toilets have been converted to low flow where possible. When these bathroom fixtures are replaced, we use low flow fixtures.
- We have made great efforts to plant native plant species that are heat tolerant to reduce campus irrigation needs. We try to reduce water consumption by limiting the use of irrigation systems for outdoor plant materials.
- Our custodial group has been using specialized cleaning machines (auto-scrubbers) that reduce the use of water and reduce the need for harsh chemicals in some mechanized cleaning procedures.
- Our custodial team also uses special hand held spray bottles that use ionized water to clean mirrors and other flat surfaces eliminating the use of ammonia based chemicals.
- During the holiday breaks, UNG takes a utility holiday as well. Facilities and Operations powers down as many of the campus building systems as possible to reduce utility consumption.
- On the Gainesville Campus, specialized lighting controls reduce outdoor lighting levels after hours to a minimum level to reduce energy consumption.
- Where possible, high efficiency and premium efficiency motors are used to replace less efficient motors on the various campus mechanical systems.
- HVAC and lighting controls have been installed on our newly renovated academic buildings that allow for setbacks and utility saving measures during unoccupied times.
- UNG Facilities and Operations has replaced many of our old gasoline burning service vehicles with all electric trucks and carts. These vehicles have zero emissions and operate on just a few dollars per day.
- Chilled Water Plant – Stewart central chilled water plant is now feeding 8 buildings on the Dahlonega Campus with chilled water via 3 super high efficiency chillers. Each of these 8 buildings used to have their own much less efficient chiller. Energy reduction of up to 50% under high load conditions can be realized with this new plant.
- Gaillard Energy Recovery Unit – Gaillard Hall in Dahlonega was renovated in 2012 and the project included an energy recovery unit that exchanges the energy contained in the air inside the building that is exhausted through the exhaust fans and uses it to treat (precondition) the incoming fresh outdoor ventilation air in the HVAC system. During the warmer seasons, the system pre-cools and dehumidifies while humidifying and pre-heating in the cooler seasons. It is considered a very effective tool in energy conservation.
A few of the future sustainability plans for Plant Operations:
- Plant Operations plans to reduce more of our on campus vehicle fleet from the large gasoline powered trucks to smaller specialized electric vehicles.
- When new building service equipment is purchased/replaced, sustainability is a major consideration in the selection process.
- Programs to install low flow restroom fixtures and high efficiency lighting will be expanded as budget allows.
- Indoor lighting controls and HVAC controls will be implemented in older buildings as budget allows.