Pollution Prevention earns praise
and pollution prevention continue to be hot button issues across
the nation, UNM is winning praise for its efforts to reduce
waste and protect the environment.
Prevention section from the City of Albuquerques Public
Works Department recently completed inspections of several departments
at UNM, and offered praise for going above and beyond typical
recycling and waste disposal efforts.
to some innovative ideas and procedures, the university has
been able to partner with the city to find new ways to reduce
water use and cut down on waste.
the Albuquerque Pollution Prevention Program, each year, the
UNM Safety Health and Environmental Affairs office (SHEA) must
identify five areas or departments that can do more to recycle,
use environmentally friendly products and cut down on waste
and then implement programs to do so. SHEAs efforts have
been so successful that the city has presented the university
with several pollution prevention awards over the years.
university is doing some really wonderful things. Were
amazed at how theyre constantly pushing the envelope
regarding pollution prevention.
of Albuquerque Pollution Prevention Specialist
the departments honored this year is UNMs Automotive and
Fleet Services, which found ways to cut down waste and save
money as well.
Linda McCormick, pollution prevention specialist at SHEA, helped
Automotive and Fleet Services Supervisor Dan Apodaca identify
more than 25 ways the department could use to cut down on waste
to McCormick, everything from oil and refrigerants to batteries,
tires and even lead tire weights are now recycled. Dirty solvents
are now shipped back to the manufacturer to be reused in their
own operations. Oil and water washed off vehicles are separated
and automotive products are chosen for their low environmental
measure being taken to reduce pollution from the university
fleet is the gradual implementation of low emission/alternative
fuel into the light-duty fleet.
60 percent of all light-duty campus vehicles can use alternative
fuels such as E-85 (85 percent ethanol and 15 percent gasoline)
or compressed natural gas (CNG). The fleet service goal is to
have 75 percent of all light-duty vehicles running on alternative
fuel by year's end.
fuels are also being introduced into the university heavy duty
university is doing some really wonderful things, City
of Albuquerque Pollution Prevention Specialist Brynda Gutierrez
said during the recent inspection of the fleet services department.
Were amazed at how theyre constantly pushing
the envelope regarding pollution prevention.
of waste water is another critical issue faced by McCormick
and SHEA. McCormick says departments like chemistry, mechanical
engineering and fine arts are now recycling more using pollution
prevention to save money and help the environment.
up and processes about 1000 gallons of photographic fixer each
year from fine arts and other departments. The fixer is then
processed, removing harmful toxins like silver, which then allows
for waste water to be safely disposed of. The collected silver
can also be processed for reuse.
and Mechanical Engineering departments replaced hundreds of
mercury thermometers in favor of safer alternatives provided
by SHEA. SHEA then turns the mercury over to be recycled or
disposed of properly.
says SHEA even acts as a kind of chemical supply for departments
and researchers. Old chemicals that can still be used
are made available on a first-come, first-served basis to university
departments, McCormick said. By using recycled chemicals,
departments all across campus can keep chemicals out of the
ecosystem and more money in their budget.
campus, significant steps have been taken to reduce the UNMs
effects on the environment. Fluorescent lighting tubes are collected
and recycled. Groundskeepers are now using less-toxic pesticides
and planting more drought tolerant vegetation. Grass and leaves
from campus and golf course maintenance are being composted.
towels from the Johnson Recreation Center are recycled and reused
as animal bedding by local animal rescue groups.
no matter how big or small has the potential to help UNM be
more environmentally friendly. [The efforts] dont
have to be earth shaking, but they have to be real, McCormick
said. As a university, were generating less hazardous
waste, so its a win-win situation.