"Georgia Tech is committed to developing leaders who understand the importance of a healthy planet to improve the human condition and are ready to make a difference. We carry out that mission not only through education and research, but very importantly, by being an example of sustainability in our own operations,” said Georgia Tech President Ángel Cabrera. Waste is a big component of Georgia Tech’s operational environmental footprint. In 2020, the campus created over 12,000 tons of waste, with 8,600 tons going directly to the landfill. For us to reach our zero-waste goal, a goal which stipulates we divert 90% of materials from the landfill by recycling, composting, and reusing, every member of the campus community much actively participate in waste reduction and diversion efforts.
In 2020, Georgia Tech made significant strides towards achieving its zero-waste goal through the expansion of the AWARE Program across campus. The AWARE Program (Actively Working to Achieve Resource Efficiency) aims to make Georgia Tech students, faculty, and staff aware of the critical role they play in waste minimization by placing on them the responsibility of sorting and emptying their waste. Prior to the expansion of the AWARE Program, all items that were placed in desk side bins emptied by building custodial teams went to the landfill. Now, with student, staff, and faculty emptying their desk side bins, there is the opportunity for much of the material to be recycled.
To support AWARE and the realization of Georgia Tech’s zero-waste goal, the campus community needs help. The Work Green Zero Waste Ambassadors will actively champion waste reduction and diversion efforts by educating the campus community on zero-waste practices. By fostering a community committed to sustainable materials management, Georgia Tech can become a leader in sustainable operations. The Work Green Zero Waste Ambassador effort is open to all Georgia Tech staff and faculty looking to actively engage in campus sustainability.
The Work Green Zero Waste Ambassadors will:
- Undergo training on proper recycling and purchasing decisions to reduce waste. The first training will be held on Tuesday, November 16th, 2021 at 11:30 a.m. in person at the Kendeda Building, room 230, and online here.
- Conduct outreach to their peers and the campus community on zero-waste practices.
- Serve as a model within their own office of the implementation of zero-waste practices.
- Identify opportunities to further reduce and divert waste and work with the Office of Campus Sustainability and Office of Solid Waste Management & Recycling on their implementation.