UT Dallas Receives State Recognition for Environmental Leadership
The State of Texas Alliance for Recycling (STAR) recently presented UT Dallas Facilities Management with the Rick Fuszek Award for Outstanding Sustainable Materials Management in the 2015 Environmental Leadership Awards.
STAR, a nonprofit organization focused on increasing recycling rates in Texas, selected UT Dallas for its demonstrated focus on materials management and resource conservation through its on-campus compost operation.
“These awards are given to the most innovative programs in the state, and we are honored to be recognized among these institutions,” said Rick Dempsey, associate vice president for Facilities Management. “Composting at UT Dallas is our way of harnessing waste created on campus and turning it into a useful tool, and our team has worked very hard to make this a successful program.”
Staff members Craig Lewis, greenhouse landscape coordinator and founder of the composting operation; Jeffery Reedy, groundskeeper III; Thomas Wadley, groundskeeper II; Jay Jascott, landscape supervisor; and Thea Junt, assistant director for energy conservation and sustainability, are directly involved in the program that uses campus waste materials to create compost for the beautification of campus.
“Composting at UT Dallas is our way of harnessing waste created on campus and turning it into a useful tool, and our team has worked very hard to make this a successful program.”
The facilities team collects landscape debris and, through a partnership with Dining Services, pre-consumer food waste and adds it to windrows on a 4-acre plot northeast of campus that is dedicated to the University composting program. The team then carefully monitors and tends to the mixture, ensuring it aerates and cures correctly until it is ready to be used for landscaping and the campus flowerbeds. The full cycle takes between eight and 12 months and generates approximately 350 cubic yards of compost depending on the amount of material available.
The process allows the University to compost 100 percent of campus landscape waste. In 2014, UT Dallas created 140 tons of recoverable compost, which was used on campus landscape throughout 2014 and 2015. In addition, some of the landscape material was shredded directly into mulch. By keeping these materials out of the consumer waste stream, the University has reduced its emissions, costs and time associated with waste management.
“This award speaks volumes to the dedication of the employees on our Facilities Management team who are engaged in delivering this unique service,” said Dr. Calvin Jamison, vice president for Administration. “They represent a shining example of the commitment and creativity UT Dallas employees bring to their respective areas, supporting the continued enhancement of our campus community. We are very proud of their accomplishments.”
For more information about the UT Dallas composting program, visit utdallas.edu/sustainability.
Media Contact: The Office of Media Relations, UT Dallas, (972) 883-2155, [email protected].