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By Liz Warren-Pederson

 

A new student-driven initiative – the Eller Green Team – has made significant headway in its goal of making McClelland Hall a zero-waste building.

The Eller Green team came together in spring 2015 out of undergraduate associate dean Pam Perry’s nonprofit management class. “I got one of those mass emails that all business and pre-business students get,” said Thomas Malone (BSBA Marketing ’17). “It was all about creating an organization within Eller that would streamline sustainability efforts within McClelland Hall and at Eller events. I sent in my application as soon as I finished reading the email, as sustainability has been a passion of mine on a personal level and this gave me an outlet to help make real change at the UA.”

Malone, past co-president with Josh Dobrin, worked with Eller administration on multiple projects over the past year that have seen tangible results.

UA Facilities Management, for example, completed a waste audit of McClelland Hall and identified key areas of concern to inform the Green Team’s priorities.

Armed with that information, the Green Team worked with Eller administration, including Jean Vock (assistant dean of finance) and Maura Jensen (facilities manager), to write a grant proposal for the UA Green Fund. The grant proposed installation of Dyson hand dryers, which would significantly reduce paper towel use, as well as water bottle refill stations.

The grant was funded, and with additional contributions by the Eller dean’s office and UA Facilities Management, four Dyson hand dryers (located in the building’s busiest restrooms on the first and second floors) and two water bottle refill stations were installed in August.

Now the Green Team is working to identify its next set of sustainability projects within the College. “Priorities that the executive board of the Green Team have are to work on better recycling bin placement, and to make sure students know how to use these bins,” Malone said. “We also applied for a Green Fund Grant, as we want to expand our project of getting hand dryers and water bottle re-fill stations to other floors within McClelland. Another project we have been looking into is getting compost bins in the bathrooms that still use paper towels, because these could be composted instead of put in a landfill.”

Top photo by Tim Fuller.