The One Cooper Campus initiated a single stream recycling program in January. Reviewing the numbers for the first two quarters, it is clear that Cooper has begun to make an overall improvement in managing its waste. In comparison to the first and second quarter, we have successfully cut our medical waste poundage almost in half, saving a significant amount of money per pound.
Solid waste poundage increased in the 2nd quarter; however, that increase appears to have been driven by the diversion of (inappropriate) red bag waste, the amount of which reduced by a similar amount. As shown in the chart, medical waste is roughly 5 times more expensive to process than solid or recycled waste. The amount of material recycled increased in the 2nd quarter as well. These figures show that less municipal waste is being treated as medical waste (red bag) and more municipal waste is being diverted from landfills to the recycling plant. As the familiar Cooper red becomes greener, we are also reducing costs for managing our waste stream.
Separately, the celebration of Earth Day on April 22, 2010, the cafeteria has been charging 5 cents for each Styrofoam cup being sold. This has led to a decrease of 3400 cups per week, a tremendous drop in nonperishable waste. In addition, if you bring your own coffee cup to the cafeteria you can save 10 cents. Thanks to everyone here at Cooper for the initial success. We hope to keep the trend lines moving in the right direction.
Green Team Report Card: