WSU’s Materials and Resources Management unit was awarded a 2007 Governor’s Award for Pollution Prevention and Sustainable Practices in a ceremony at the state capitol on Oct. 9.
The award recognizes the accomplishments of WSU Central Stores, University Recycling, Surplus Stores and Compost Facility.
Four organizations, including WSU’s Materials and Resources Management, received special recognition for the award this year. A total of 11 businesses, agencies and institutes of higher education in Washington were recognized this year for their success in moving the state towards a more sustainable future.
“These winners represent the best of the best at protecting the environment while running profitable businesses,” said Jay Manning, Washington State Department of Ecology director. “I never fail to be impressed by the creativity and vision displayed by these award winners. They show that in Washington you can protect the environment and succeed commercially at the same time.”
The Materials and Resources Management unit, which is now a part of the Facilities Operations Waste Management department, helps WSU in Pullman reduce its “environmental footprint.” The individual units work in a closed-loop structure that integrates supply, use, reuse, recycling and disposal into an efficient process.
The unit staff answers the question of disposal before material even reaches the campus. The recycling unit collected and processed 1,962 tons of material in 2006. The surplus stores unit facilitated the deconstruction of two large wood-structure buildings in order to salvage usable materials. The compost facility works with Dining Services to test biodegradable utensils that will end up in the composting program. More than 10,000 tons of compost and/or bedding was produced last year with the bedding material used by the university in various livestock and dairy programs. The goal of these and other efforts is to wring out the most value from the resources before disposal.
Materials and Resources Management has also a significant presence in the community and surrounding area. Waste Management staff members serve on boards and advisory councils at the local, state and national levels in support of sustainability.
For more information, visit the following websites.
Governor’s Award for Pollution Prevention and Sustainable Practices: http://www.ecy.wa.gov/programs/hwtr/GovAward/index.html
Washington State Department of Ecology: http://www.ecy.wa.gov