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March 8, 2012
Darryl Geddes 315 464-4828

Upstate is honored as Recycler of the Year

SYRACUSE, N.Y. — Upstate Medical University has been honored by the Onondaga County Resource Recovery Agency (OCRRA) with its Recycler of the Year award. Upstate is one of only five local businesses—and the only medical institution—to receive the honor.

Upstate was recognized for dozens of environmental initiatives that it has rolled out over the past year. A highlight is the university’s food-composting program that diverts food waste and scraps from food and dining services. Since initiating the project last September, Upstate has diverted approximately 800 to 1,000 pounds of food waste and trimmings per week, totaling approximately 7.2 tons. Officials say disposing of this waste as compost, instead of trash, saves considerable disposal costs.

Other initiatives include:

• participation in battery recycling program that collected more than 1,740 pounds of rechargeable batteries;

• development of a special website that includes information for the campus community on Upstate’s recycling efforts and tips for how employees and students can recycle;

• recycling of fluorescent light bulbs and the distribution of departmental publications electronically to save paper;

• introduction of a flat mop system for cleaning floors that eliminates mop buckets and reduces water and the use of high-tech floor scrubbers that clean without chemicals; and

• introduction of a paint recycling program that donated left over paint to Habitat for the Humanity.

David Nettle of OCRRA said Upstate has been able to raise awareness of recycling within the institution and has made significant changes to the way it does business that benefit the community.

“We’re delighted with this recognition from OCRRA,” said Tom Pelis, Upstate’s assistant vice president for facilities and management. “This honor recognizes the efforts of Upstate employees and students who have integrated recycling and the desire to be good stewards of our environment through our daily activities.”

Caption: Upstate Medical University has been named Recycler of the Year by the Onondaga County Resource Recovery Agency. Accepting the award from Upstate are, from left, Rob Andrus, Jason Ruppert and Tom Pelis.

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