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TCU Magazine

 

From organic food service to smart groundskeeping, maybe more than you think.

Paper trail
TCU recycles approximately 75 percent of the paper waste generated on campus. Residential areas have remained a problem due to contamination of paper products. These areas account for the
remaining 25 percent of the waste stream.

Organic foodservice
Dining Services uses SpudWare, cutlery made from 80-percent potato starch and 20-percent soy oil that biodegrades in just 180 days, and Ecotainers, compostable chlorine-free cups with an inner lining made of corn instead of petroleum.

In the fall, dining services will stop offering to-go boxes at the new cafeteria opening in the Student Union and utilize reusable plates and utensils.

Tree savers
A number of offices and processes at TCU are now paperless, including financial services, financial aid, human resources, the registration process and room sign-ups in residential services.

Instead of making copies, professors post class assignments and other handouts online.

Good groundskeeping
Most yard material (trimmings, tree limbs, etc.) are run through the chipper and composted, to be reused in plant beds.

Pavestone is collected and reused during construction projects. Parking bumpers are recovered, cleaned and reused.

Light switch
In some campus buildings lights are programmed to go off if no motion is detected.

For the birds
On Earth Day, students put on a fundraising concert to benefit endangered green macaws in Costa Rica.

Fresh start
TCU's new Union uses paints low in volatile organic compounds and carpets made of recycled materials.

Double life
Old furniture, including desks, chairs and filing cabinets, are sold or given to charitable institutions, school districts and police stations.

Bookcases are refurbished and reused.

Computers, monitors and printers are recycled by Technology Resources.

Use and reuse
University vehicles with useful life are recycled to other departments rather than sold or traded.

Air conditioning units are reused, or the refrigerant recovered and the parts recycled. Freon is recovered and recycled.

Electrical transformers are recovered and reused or sold for reuse. Parking lot lights are recovered, refurbished with new technology and reused.

The engineering machine shop in the Tucker Technology Building recycles scrap aluminum and other metals from its support operations.

The Physical Plant recycles copper, brass and steel.

Maintenance staff recycles glass remnants and shards.

Warming trend
A new solar system is being installed to warm the
university swimming pool.

Free ride
Students, faculty and staff can take Fort Worth/Dallas public transportation free of charge with a special pass.

The green scene
Sociology instructor Keith Whitworth teaches a popular class called "Sustainability is Sexy" in which students are challenged to reduce their environmental footprint.

Whitworth also heads up the growing TCU Purple Bike program, which allows students to check out a
bicycle for unlimited personal transportation.

Comment at tcumagazine@tcu.edu.