WUSTL makes progress in sustainability

WUSTL has made strides in becoming more sustainable, from keeping more waste out of landfills to adding staff to focus on energy conservation. The university’s overall institutional waste diversion rate improved to about 40 percent in fiscal 2012. The campus community also is participating in the Recyclemania competition this month.

Celebrating Earth Day at School of Medicine

Jim Jackson (left), project manager in Facilities Management at the School of Medicine, explains energy used in light bulbs to a visitor to the energy conservation and alternative energy station at the School of Medicine’s Earth Day festivities April 19 in the BJC Institute of Health Hope Plaza. In addition to energy, visitors learned about recycling, gardening and water conservation, and transportation and clean air.

School of Medicine Earth Day celebration April 19

Earth Day activities at the School of Medicine will take place from 10:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m., Thursday, April 19. All faculty, staff and students are encouraged to take part to learn about energy conservation and alternative energy; recycling; gardening and water conservation; and transportation and clean air.

RecycleMania 2012 kicks off Feb. 5

The 2012 RecycleMania contest, which pits WUSTL against other U.S. and Canadian colleges and universities to see which campus can keep the greatest amount of waste materials from landfills, begins Sunday, Feb. 5. It lasts eight weeks and ends Saturday, March 31. Last year, the university community recycled approximately 278.3 tons of waste during the contest to launch WUSTL into a top 5 percent finish.

More steps toward sustainability

To kick off a new Styrofoam recycling program at the School of Medicine this month, members of about 15 labs in the Department of Molecular Microbiology loaded one-year’s worth of Styrofoam into a 52-foot 18-wheeler truck April 28. Employees spent one hour loading the Styrofoam into the truck, which was filled about halfway.

RecycleMania 2011 begins

WUSTL’s top 11 percent finish in last year’s RecycleMania competition was impressive, but the Office of Sustainability is challenging WUSTL to finish even higher in the 2011 RecycleMania contest, which lasts eight weeks and ends Saturday, April 2. RecycleMania 2011 pits WUSTL against other colleges and universities to see which campus can keep the greatest amount of waste materials from landfills.

Helium supplies endangered, threatening science and technology

Helium is drifting away.In America, helium is running out of gas. The element that lifts things like balloons, spirits and voice ranges is being depleted so rapidly in the world’s largest reserve, outside of Amarillo, Texas, that supplies are expected to be depleted there within the next eight years. This deflates more than the Goodyear blimp and party favors. Its larger impact is on science and technology, according to Lee Sobotka, Ph.D., professor of chemistry and physics in Arts & Sciences at Washington University in St. Louis.
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