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Sustainability projects underway at UNG

Enviro Spark electric vehicle chargers are now available on UNG's Dahlonega and Gainesville campuses.

Through collaboration between Auxiliary Services and the Environmental Club at the University of North Georgia (UNG), several initiatives aimed at sustainability and conservation are underway or in planning stages.

"Auxiliary Services and the Environmental Club share a mutual interest in sustainability and environmental protection, and some great projects are now underway thanks to this partnership," said Mac McConnell, senior vice president for business and finance at UNG.

In June, the university installed level two dual electric vehicle charging stations on its Dahlonega and Gainesville campuses, which will charge any level two and most level three electric vehicles. The stations will be open to the UNG community as well as visitors; the average charge time for a full charge is less than four hours. Use of the chargers is free until Aug. 3, after which there will be a small fee for use of the charger:

Beginning Aug. 3

  • $1.00 for the first hour
  • $1.00 for the second hour
  • $1.50 for the third hour
  • $1.50 for the fourth hour
  • $25/hour for every hour thereafter.

"Earlier this year we were made aware of a desire for these chargers by faculty and staff who have electric vehicles, so we immediately began examining our options for meeting this need," McConnell said. "This effort also supports UNG's Strategic Plan to develop university-wide sustainability initiatives that include fiscal, environmental and cultural dimensions."

The stations accept credit/debit cards only, no cash. The Dahlonega Campus charger is located in the visitor parking lot next to the recreation center/parking deck. The Gainesville Campus charger is located outside the lower entrance to the campus parking deck. Both locations are marked with green striped parking spaces.

UNG's Parking Services will continue to add additional charging stations as demand increases.

New shuttles on the Dahlonega and Gainesville campuses will enhance parking options and reduce emissions and fuel consumption for students beginning fall semester. There will be two shuttles transporting students between the Dahlonega Campus and nearby parking lots. The shuttles will pick students up from the athletic complex parking lots located on Barlow Road and runtimes from pickup to drop-off are expected to average five minutes. One shuttle will drop off at the Health & Natural Sciences Building, and the other will stop at Dunlap Hall; neither will make stops other than at these locations.

Another shuttle will operate on the Gainesville Campus, providing transportation between the Student Center and the 373-space Ride Share lot at the corner of Highway 13 and Thurmond Tanner Parkway, which is accessible by Landrum Education Drive.

Dining Services has undertaken initiatives to reduce waste and energy and water consumption. These efforts include sourcing food from local farmers, recycling, tray-less dining, reusable mugs and to-go containers, green cleaning, and employee training on practices to conserve energy and water.

UNG's Gainesville and Oconee Campuses are conducting daily pickups of cardboard, plastic bottles and metal cans for recycling. Also, hundreds of recycling bins will soon be introduced to UNG residence halls.

"The UNG Environmental Club recently won a competitive award which will provide UNG with several hundred recycling bins that are designed for use in UNG residence halls on the Dahlonega Campus," said Treva Smith, director of Residence Life. "Residence Life will support these efforts by procuring additional recycling bins, and has worked with Facilities and Operations to place recycling dumpsters in the most appropriate and convenient locations possible."

According to Corey Mills, president of UNG's Environmental Club, each suite on the Dahlonega Campus will have a recycling bin installed in time for fall semester. The recycling bin grant is funded by Keep America Beautiful and Coca-Cola.

McConnell added that these departments will continue to work on other endeavors to enhance UNG's environment and campus life in a fiscally responsible manner. One proposed initiative from the UNG Environmental Club currently under consideration is to install power monitoring devices on UNG-owned vending machines to reduce power usage by the machines during periods when the machine is not in demand.

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