Feb 9, 2011
Change starts within yourself. Lately, a school carpenter was designated to be the new recycling program coordiator due to his effort in finding sustainable ways. Read full story…
The new “Greening the Campus” project is picking up speed as a student uses the recycle bin on Wednesday, Feb. 2, 2011. The recycle bin has a side for trash and recyclables.
Despite budget cuts, Facilities Management is making sustainability a high priority.
Facilities Management hasn’t had a recycling program coordinator since 2008 due to a lack of funds.
Various supervisors managed the position’s responsibilities internally, but they have filled it now because, according to Director of Facilities Management Chris Kopach, “we think it’s extremely important. Sustainability continues to be a large item on campus.”
David Munro worked as a carpenter in Facilities Management for three and a half years before being hired as the recycling program coordinator. Munro has a Bachelor of Arts in English and a Master of Fine Arts in creative writing from the UA.
Munro is known by his coworkers as “Mr. Green” for his efforts to find ways to reuse materials as a carpenter.
He was inspired to go green because his seven-year-old son was learning about environmental practices in school. Around the same time, he was asked to look at a way to save excess drywall from going to waste. After that project, he just kept looking at ways to save.
“Tucson and the University of Arizona are really dear to my heart,” Munro said. “This is a really great place to live.”
He and his wife picked Tucson out of a book when they looking for a place for him to go to school and were attracted by the bountiful sunshine.
“To me, it’s one of the most beautiful campuses in the country,” Munro said. “I really believe that. I feel really connected to this place and the university. So I think it gives me that sort of added incentive to really do well by this university because I think it’s kind of paying back in a way.”
Kopach said he believes filling the position will bring back an educational component to Facilities Management which has been missing since the last recycling program coordinator’s departure. He said he envisions education entailing continuing to partner with Residence Life, educating building managers on how to best use buildings and bringing awareness to the campus community about recycling.
Munro sees “reduce, reuse, recycle” as a hierarchy with reducing being the most important. Also using green cleaning products is an advantage for eco-friendly cleaning practice in schools.
“We have one planet, we have one country,” Munro said. “When you throw something away, there is no ‘away’ there. There’s magic other place where something just kind of goes.”
For students, Munro hopes they will pause before consuming something and think, “where is that waste going to go … maybe they’ll think twice and maybe they’ll do something differently.”
In addition to the new hire, Facilities Management is on its way to becoming Green Clean Certified, not something most universities can boast, according to Kopach.
JohnsonDiversey will be coming out at the end of February to certify the switch to green cleaning products as well as items like plastic liners and paper towels.
“It’s (sustainability’s) really a cultural change … people are really starting to think about it,” Munro said, “and I’m excited about the future.”
A good leader and leadership may change students perception and habits as they grow. Your home is your child’s training ground; start using best green cleaning products, so your children would do the same. Visit GreenBeanCleaning.com for more tips.