Here on the UWB/CCC campus, one of our strongest initiatives is towards environmental responsibility and sustainability. We implement some of the most modern technology to keep our ecological footprint as low as possible. Solar panels, automatic temperature control, weather-monitoring sprinkler systems, composting, and push-to-flush toilets are just a few examples. However, sustainability starts with student participation. Without our active involvement, efforts to be eco-efficient lose their strength. To help, here are some sustainable services of the Library that you may not have known about.

E-Media Disposal:

ImageDo you have old non-rechargeable or rechargeable batteries, CDs, tapes or disks, inkjet cartridges, or non-UW issued electronics?  Facilities’ e-media recycling bins are a great place to take these items in order to dispose of them in a way that is safe for the environment. Some of these items, when dumped in a landfill, can emit dangerous chemicals into the air or groundwater. By disposing of them in the proper receptacles, we prevent this from happening. Typically, you would have to drive to an office supply store or to a Waste Management facility to get rid of batteries and other small electronics, and it’s not always free. The Library is much more convenient and saves gas!

ImageOur e-media recycling bin is on the first floor, just to the left of the entrance to the Library. The slots are clearly marked for what items go where, as seen in the picture to the right.  If the bin is ever full, let the Library staff at the front Circulation Desk know.

Printing vs. Scanning

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We get lots of questions at the front desk about how to make copies. Copies are 12 cents per page for UWB and Cascadia students. You can pay using your Husky card (CCC students and public patrons have to purchase a copy card). However, if you want to avoid the cost of printing, there is an easy and fast way to do so. In the Information Commons, there are four computers connected to scanners. First priority is given to students who want to use the scanners, so they are usually available. Scans can be made of notes, worksheets, book pages, whatever you need, and IT’S FREE! Simply save the files to your USB drive or email them to yourself. This saves a lot of paper in the long run. For example, if in one day 100 students make 5 copies each for 12 cents a page; that equals 500 pages of paper totaling 60 dollars! Over a week, that is a lot of waste. Something to think about the next time you hit the copy button…

Blue is the new green in recycling:

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One thing that continues to boggle students is what kinds of waste materials go in the recycling bins! The Library alone has over 50 recycling bins spread across all three floors, located in the halls, classrooms, and study rooms. With the exception of the larger curb-sized bins located on each floor, these bins can dispose of any recyclable materials: tin cans, clean paper, cardboard, juice cartons, glass bottles, newspaper, clean paper cups, magazines, and cap-less plastic bottles (cap-less because the caps of plastic bottles are actually a different kind of plastic made up of different chemical compounds that cannot be recycled the same way as typical plastic). These all-in-one bins are located in every study room in the Library. Still, garbage continues to end up in the recycling bins and vice versa. Starting very soon, there will be instructional posters put up above each set of recycling and garbage bins in the study rooms. These posters will make it very clear what materials can go in which bins. In order to promote sustainability on our campus, please note these signs and separate your trash/recyclables accordingly. The pictured items are examples of things that CANNOT go in the recycling bins. Food-contaminated plates or paper, food wrappings, plastic bottle caps, general trash, Subway, and, of course, library books do not belong in the recycling!

Common examples of non-recyclables in the library:

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One thought on “How to be sustainable in the Campus Library

  1. Just thought I would add in that library’s have always essentially been sustainable institutions because they promote the sharing and reuse of resources.

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