June 8, 2010

ISU units earn top environmental awards

ISU dining, the department of residence and facilities planning and management will pick up a couple of top awards for protecting Iowa's natural resources on June 28.

Gov. Chet Culver will present the awards to Iowa State and several other organizations and companies during a conference at Honey Creek State Resort Park. The Iowa State units will take home the environmental excellence award as well as an award of special recognition in water quality.

The awards recognized ISU for green efforts on a variety of fronts.

  • Composting: The ISU compost facility is designed to annually handle up to 15,000 tons of waste materials annually. These includes materials from the dairy facility, university animal facilities, biomass research, greenhouse and campus yard waste and discarded food from ISU Dining. The compost project not only keeps food waste out of the landfill, but out of the water stream as well.
  • Trayless dining. in August 2009, Seasons Marketplace, a residential dining center, introduced trayless dining to students. The system reduces food waste by encouraging students to only take what they'll eat. In addition, it saves energy that would otherwise be used to wash and sanitize trays.
  • Recycling. In 2009, students and the residence department implemented recycling programs in residence halls and apartment communities. The program impacts more than 8,0000 students, giving them easy access to recycling. ISU dining also has a program to recycle all cardboard, paper, glass, ink toner, pallets, cans and bottles.
  • Farm to ISU. This ISU dining program promotes the purchase of local foods.

More info: Governor's Awards Honor Iowa Environmental Leaders, Iowa Department of Natural Resources news release.