Recycling just got easier on campus thanks to Keep America Beautiful and 150 new recycling bins!

UC San Diego Wins Keep America Beautiful Recycling Grant

Left to right: I Love A Clean San Diego Executive Director Pauline Martinson, UC San Diego Vice Chancellor for Resource Management and Planning Gary Matthews, Chief Procurement Officer Ted Johnson, undergraduate students, and Facilities Management Housekeeping staff celebrate the university’s win of a 2017 Keep America Beautiful recycling bin grant by — what else? — recycling! Photo credit: Rhett Miller, UC San Diego

Recycling just got easier on campus thanks to Keep America Beautiful and 150 new recycling bins!

UC San Diego is one of 48 recipients nationwide of a recycling bin grant from Keep America Beautiful, which has been working since 1953 to end littering, improve recycling, and beautify America’s communities.

Staff have already begun placing 150 new bins across the university inside buildings like the California Institute for Telecommunications and Information Technology (CaliT2), several engineering buildings, and its iconic Geisel Library.

To celebrate, Vice Chancellor for Resource Management and Planning Gary Matthews and Chief Procurement Officer Ted Johnson welcomed I Love A Clean San Diego Executive Director Pauline Martinson to campus on Friday, April 13. A local affiliate of Keep America Beautiful, I Love A Clean San Diego leads and inspires the San Diego region to conserve and enhance the environment through example, outreach, and local involvement. VC Matthews, CPO Johnson, and ED Martinson had the chance to interact with a few of our dedicated Housekeeping staff from Facilities Management staff, the “boots on the ground” who make sure recyclables go into our blue bins and, from there, into the outside larger bins that will be emptied and taken to off-site sorting facilities.

They also had the chance to meet a few of our inspiring students, all of whom are currently interning for offices on campus like Planning or Sustainability,  learning about and assisting with green building or environmental planning efforts. ED Martinson also got a tour of the Sustainability Resource Center, where our center manager and students have developed a number of recycling collection centers and educational displays — all part of UC San Diego’s zero waste initiative.

This is a milestone year for Keep America Beautiful and its corporate sponsor, Coca-Cola. With the help of Keep America Beautiful and many other partners and communities across the country, The Coca-Cola Company achieved the 1 million mark for recycling bins donated to communities this year.

A very big thank you to Keep America Beautiful for this generous grant. We are already putting the bins to good use making sure we recycling more and send less to the landfill!

PS Want to know what to put in one of those new blue bins you might see in a building on campus? Print a recycling sign for your residence hall or on-campus apartment, office or laboratory!

Sara McKinstry, Campus Sustainability Manager, on behalf of lots of staff and students who help move us towards zero waste

We Are Still In at UC San Diego

A few weeks ago, US President Trump announced that that US would be backing out of the 2015 Paris climate accord.

“At what point does America get demeaned?,” President Trump asked during his public press conference announcing the withdrawal. “At what point do they start laughing at us as a country? We want fair treatment. We don’t want other countries and other leaders to laugh at us anymore.”
Ironically, withdrawing our national commitment to join the rest of the world in lowering our greenhouse gas emissions to keep global temperature increases under a 2 C limit (after which it’s much harder to turn back) and transitioning to a clean energy economy is our being unfair to the rest of the world. And hurting our own economy and national security in the process.

I’d say instead of laughing, the rest of the world is crying with many of we Americans as our national leaders stick their heads in the sand.

We Are Still In climate pledge logo

But we are now turning those tears to action.

Over 1,000 mayors, governors, CEO’s, and higher education leaders — including our own UC San Diego Chancellor Pradeep Khosla — stated loud and clear in response that we are still in to meeting our commitments under the Paris accords. Along with the Chancellors of our sister UC campuses and UC President Janet Napolitano, Chancellor Khosla joins climate leaders like California Governor Gerry Brown, Mayor of Los Angeles Eric Garcetti, Mayor of New York City Bill De Blasio, and the leadership of companies like Starbucks, Apple, Microsoft, Nike, Amazon, Gap, and Facebook, among others.

We are still in to lower our greenhouse emissions, lead the world in climate science and technological research and innovation, and collaborate with the rest of the world in slowing the warming that will hurt our health, our economy, and our environment — especially for the most vulnerable among us.

“Climate change is a fact of life that people in Los Angeles and cities around the world live with every day. It is a grave threat to our health, our environment, and our economy — an urgent challenge that requires unprecedented collaboration,” LA Mayor Garcetti explain of his signing the pledge. “The President may be pulling out of the Paris Climate Agreement, but L.A. will lead by committing to the goals of the accord — and working closely with over 200 other Climate Mayors as well as governors and CEOs across the U.S. to do the same.”

This weekend we are welcoming His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama to campus as our 2017 Commencement keynote speaker, and the timing couldn’t be more perfect or more powerful. He promotes environmental protection and sustainability alongside and in harmony with the promotion of human values, social integrity, compassion, interreligious dialogue, and ethical leadership.

“A man of peace, His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama promotes global responsibility and service to humanity,” Chancellor Khosla explained. “These are the ideals we aim to convey and instill in our students and graduates at UC San Diego.”

And the ideals we are still all in to model ourselves as a public university.

Now that is no laughing matter.

Sara McKinstry (@sarajmck)