North Shore Community College has made the development and implementation of sustainable practices an integral part of the College's culture. One such area is waste reduction, recycling products, mercury reduction, and Green Procurement.
Paper, Bottles and Cans:
As part of its ongoing efforts to lessen its impact on the environment, the College expanded its current recycling program. The program will include expansion of its existing paper recycling and the addition of bottle and can recycling.
As of July 1, 2012 the college entered into a new solid waste contract with Casella Waste Systems, Inc. Green recycle bins have been strategically located in all owned college buildings for the collection of plastic and glass bottles as well as cans. The existing blue paper bins continue to be used for all types of paper, which will now include cardboard and phone books.
Critical to the program is the labor needed to collect the recyclables throughout the college. The success of the existing paper recycling program is a result of the labor provided through Bridgewell. Using this as a model, the College and Bridgewell expanded their agreement to include the labor necessary to add the collection of bottles and cans to the recycling effort. The expansion of this partnership not only benefits the college's environmental goals, it increases the number of job opportunities available to Bridgewell's participants. The agreement calls for two distinct crews to be employed; one for collecting paper and the other for collecting bottles and cans.
Ink Cartridges: Since 2002 the College's Information Systems office has been recycling toner cartridges for printers as well as deskjet ink cartridges. On an annual basis the College recycles approximately 700 deskjet and 400 toner cartridges. In addition to the benefit of recycling the cartridges the vendor gives the College points for its efforts which the College has used to purchase printers and scanners for student services. Faculty and staff are encouraged to bring in cartridges from home and add them to the College's shipments and thus keep them out of the waste stream. The vendor also accepts old cell phones.
Cardboard: After the paper recycling program success, the College initiated recycling of cardboard by placing designated containers for cardboard material only. In the period FY07—FY12, the college has recycled 194.72 tons of cardboard.
Yard Waste: The College has always recycled yard waste, brush, leaves, grass clippings, etc. In the last four fiscal years (FY 07-FY 12), it has recycled 199 tons of yard waste through Wood Trucking depot in Peabody. This waste is turned into compost and mulch which the College then uses for its flower and tree beds.
Fryer Oil: Since FY 06 the College has been recycling its cooking oil through a partnership with Smartfuel. Smartfuel collects waste vegetable oil within 50 miles from its processing plant in Seabrook, NH. Fuel made from vegetables burns more cleanly than diesel fuel and it emits on average 67 percent less greenhouse gases according to the EPA. The College recycles approximately 246 gallons per year.
Universal Waste: The recycling of universal waste is one of the most important sustainable efforts at NSCC because of its impact on the environment. The College has designated spaces and containers where all universal waste is properly stored. Items such as light bulbs, ballasts, paint, adhesives and other universal material is collected and recycled through certified organizations.
Film Development: With the installation of the new building's digital Radiologic Technology equipment, the college moves away from using hazardous film development chemicals which are costly to dispose of, which will save money and be greener.
Surplus Inventory: In partnership with IRN—The Recycling Network, the College has successfully disposed of its surplus inventory. A total of 211 pieces of furniture, equaling 5.17 tons, of school furniture, chairs, tables, stools, file cabinets, etc, was collected and shipped to development and relief efforts in Jamaica. Additional 75 pieces equaling 1.785 tons, will be shipped at a later date, while 13.7915 tons of material was recycled at the local IRN-certified recycling facility. A total of 20.7465 tons was diverted from a landfill.
The College's Environmentally Preferable Product procurement process has resulted in the purchase of recycled paper, modular carpet manufactured with recycled materials, insect control, low VOC paint and many cleaning products. After attending the 2005 EPP vendor fair, the facility staff was so impressed with modular carpet tiles they were specified for a classroom at the Danvers Health Building and as part of a major office renovation project at the Lynn campus. In addition to these items the College has replaced toxic insect sprays with mint based green seal certified products. Instead of traditional paint, our maintenance department uses low VOC (volatile organic compound) paint which is significantly less harmful. Additional green seal certified products are being used to replace petroleum, butyl, and acid based products. A compact, versatile product dispensing systems have been installed to ensure accurate product dilution and employee safety. The system is able to operate with a wide range of products for job specific applications. Paper products, such as toilet tissue and paper towels have been replaced with 100% recycled ECO SOFT paper products that are green seal certified.