__News to ReUse_____________ October 2020
Chair's Message
Greetings CURC members and friends! 

I hope you all have been able to move into the fall semester with ease. I know we have a variety of different types of reopening plans, and many challenges associated during this time we are living in. It is my sincere hope that you all have been able to manage to the best of your abilities, and that you are enjoying this beautiful fall time of year. 

The CURC board continues to work diligently to listen to our membership and provide resources and meaningful ways to engage in lite of COVID-19, including the development of a committee to work toward broadening our organization to be more just, equitable and inclusive. If you are interested in being a part of this important work, please get in touch with us and find more information below. 

Earlier this year we worked with the US Composting Council and Elevate Packaging to send out a reopening survey to better understand some of the reopening plans of colleges and universities across the nation. We will be providing these results to our membership, and sharing some of the highlights at an educational session during the AASHE conference. Please be sure to check out this on-demand educational session if you tune into AASHE. You can use the following to search for the session: "College & University Recycling Coalition (CURC) Campus Recycling Session".

We will be sending out a follow-up survey in partnership with the Zero Waste Campus Council, NRC Campus Council, Busch Systems Consulting and the US Composting Council focused on the long term impacts of COVID on broader recycling operations and waste collection issues. 

We continue to develop plans for the upcoming extended webinar on October 15th which focuses on Food Reduction, Recovery, and Compost. We have an exciting slate of speakers and case studies to share, along with time for virtual round table networking and discussion. We hope you can join us! 

Be sure to check out more info on upcoming opportunities below. We are grateful for your continued work toward campus sustainability efforts! 

With Gratitude, 

Jennifer Maxwell, CURC Chair
Sustainability Program Manager, Appalachian State University
Thank you to those of you who have completed our survey about CURC and Racial Justice, Equity and Inclusion. Given the importance and gravity of this issue, we want to be sure we capture as many voices as possible. If you have not taken the survey yet, please do. https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/CURCSurvey   
 
We would also appreciate it if you could share the survey link with your colleagues locally/regionally. Our network is wide but we need to utilize as many channels as we can to ensure diversity among the respondents.
Racial justice must be an integral part of our work and we invite you to join us in this pursuit
 
Sincerely,
The CURC Board
UPCOMING EVENTS
Composting for Your Campus Extended Webinar/Workshop
October 15 1-4pm EST

About 1/3 of all the food produced globally is wasted, consequently contributing about 6% of the world's greenhouse gas emissions. Fortunately, there are a multitude of opportunities to reduce food waste; recover it to feed people and animals; and divert it from our landfills and incinerators. CURC's extended webinar will follow the EPA's food waste hierarchy to highlight ways campuses can reduce first, rescue where safe and then recycle into valuable compost material.

To see the entire 2020 Webinar series schedule and register, click on this link.

To review CURC's past webinars to get educated during your time away from the office, see our archive in full by clicking below
CURC's Survey Review Session at GCSHE
October 20-22 On-Demand

Thank you to everyone who took our survey in August. Your answers helped us create a new resource guide for the re-opening during COVID-19. While there are no easy answers, there are a lot of helpful people in our network with good advice. Click here to see the guide.

If you are attending the virtual Global Conference on Sustainability in Higher Education, we encourage you to join our pre-recorded session which examines the results and provides resources based on each trend. You can find the recording listed as "College & University Recycling Coalition (CURC) Campus Recycling Session."

This recording will be available on-demand for those who registered for the conference until November 22nd. After that period is over, we will be uploading the session to our website for your access, even if you didn't register for the conference.

Stay tuned for part 2 of our re-opening survey!
Northeast Recycling Council
The Changing Face of Recycling Fall Virtual Conference
October 20-22 from 1-5 p.m (EST)

The fall NERC conference will be happening online this year! Mark your calendars and explore the agenda and what registration options are available.

For students, there are scholarships available! Send your resume, info about your school of study and program to Mary-Ann Remolador at maryann@nerc.org before September 1.

Center for EcoTechnology
2020 Fall WasteWise Forum Webinar
Tuesday, November 10th 10am-12pm EST

RecyclingWorks in Massachusetts for the 2020 Fall WasteWise Forum on Tuesday, November 10th! This free webinar will highlight businesses and institutions with food waste diversion programs, and provide guidance and strategies to comply with the commercial organics waste ban. To learn more and register, visit the RecyclingWorks website!
National Recycling Coalition
National Zero Waste Virtual Conference, December 1-3 2020
The National Recycling Coalition is excited to announce the all virtual National Zero Waste Conference on December 1-3, 2020. This conference will be a great 3-day educational and networking event. Registration is open. Day 1 focuses on Zero Waste Businesses, day 2 focuses on Zero Waste Communities and day 3 is the National Recycling Congress. There will also be a series of Webinars on Thursdays for registrants leading up to the conference. You won't want to miss the latest Zero Waste information and this networking event. 
Campus Race to Zero Waste
Registration for the Campus Race to Zero Waste (formerly RecycleMania) 2021 competition is open, register today!

New for 2021! Three campus winners will be recognized for each main competition category (Diversion, Per Capita, Zero Waste, Food Organics) according to the Carnegie Classification for size – 1) Small/Very Small, 2) Medium, and 3) Large/Very Large. This change will level the playing field and allow for more campuses to have the opportunity to win! Join us for a webinar on Thursday, October 1 at 2:00pm to learn more about the 2021 Campus Race to Zero Waste Competition.

Unable to compete in the 2021 competition? Learn about opportunities beyond the competition. Questions? CR2ZW@nwf.org.
New CURC Resources and Opportunities
#CURCAlumniSpotlight
A Tribute to Rob Gogan

Longtime CURC supporter and friend Rob Gogan announced recently that he is retiring from his position as Recycling & Waste Manager at Harvard University Operations Services after 30 years of service. After his announcement CURC Members and Friends flooded the Recyc-L listserv with words of thanks and support for Rob because he truly has been an ambassador to the field of waste diversion, materials management, and recycling.

We at CURC want to express our sincere gratitude for the work that Rob has done on the Harvard University campus and for sharing his knowledge and expertise with this community through his participation in CURC webinars, workshops, and the listserv as well as just generally being accessible and gracious enough to talk shop with many of us. CURC Board member Larry Cook had a conversation with Rob recently to reflect a little bit on his career and we thought you’d all be interested:
On how he got into the recycling business:
I was a graduate student in the College of Education at Harvard and just noticed that nothing was being recycled. I’d been an avid recycler since the 1970s and I always thought Harvard could do it all, but they weren’t even recycling paper. This was the late 80’s and all communication was done on paper; every student mailbox was stuffed with a daily newspaper so that if you didn’t visit it for a couple of days it would just be running over.

Earth Day 1990 was approaching so I organized a group of other students from every other college and we stormed the President’s office. He was impressed because never before had the student rep from every branch come together on the same issue. The President wrote to the Dean of every college and asked to know what they were going to do to address each of the students concerns. As a result I was hired on part-time in the Facilities Department for the summer to help administer a survey to assess campus needs. My work was so popular among staff that I convinced my boss to allow me to stay on in the Fall. When a position became open my supervisor encouraged me to craft the job description in such a way that I was the only possible qualified candidate and I have been here since.

On how his outlook on the job or priorities changed over the years:

For a while my work really focused on collection; primarily working on recycling without focusing on reduction and reuse. And for a while I was the go-to “Environmental Expert” around campus. When the Office of Sustainability was established some of that attention shifted away from my work. I realized the folks in Sustainability were doing a lot of great things that I didn’t really know a lot about and it was a little bit of a bummer. But then I started thinking more about the broader sustainability implications of waste and realized there is so much more to materials management. 
On some of the most gratifying accomplishments of his tenure:

The realization that there is more to materials management than just recycling led to some of the most gratifying work that I have done at Harvard. We developed a partnership with Habitat for Humanity providing over $1 million in funding through the Move-In and Move-Out sales. We expanded the redistribution of surplus property both locally and internationally (Haiti, Costa Rica, Sierra Leone, Guiana, Belize, and other countries are beneficiaries of this program). And we’ve partnered with the LABBB Collaborative’s "School to Work" program that gives vocational training to special needs students of high school age from sixty-two greater Boston public school districts.
On his annual April Fools’ Day posts: 
Often I feel we can be too quick to jump on the bandwagon or accept outrageous circumstances. I started the posts as an attempt to get people to slow down and laugh. The 2019 post was perhaps my most successful (reproduced below) where I suggested that soft drink brands were going to start using proprietary recipes of PETE plastic and that we were going to have to start sorting them separately. I think the addition of scientific language made it convincing for folks!
 
April 1, 2019
 
Greetings all! Is your campus making any changes to recycling signage due to the new BC212 polymer PETE bottle specifications? MRFs in our region will no longer accept “PETE #1” bottles made of BC210 or 211 polymer with single-stream recycling. It’s confusing because they are all marked with the same “PETE #1” chasing arrows logo. There is still a market for the reduced-grade bottles, but they have to be delivered separately. After initial inquiries with local bottlers, we are finding that Coke products (i.e. Dasani, Sprite, Fanta as well as Coca Cola) are all the same resin, and all Pepsi products (i.e. Aquafina, Mountain Dew, Gatorade as well as Pepsi) are the other resin. We would like to print new recycling signs and labels that say “Recycle Coke Bottles” and “Recycle Pepsi Bottles” so that our recyclables will be properly recycled, but it seems like we are advertising the two brands. Any thoughts on how best to manage this new wrinkle in the increasingly complex world of recycling?

A message from Rob for all of us:
There will always be a need for people on our campuses to recycle. The role of giving people the opportunity to recycle is an extremely valuable role. Not everybody can change the source of their electricity, but every person has a chance to recycle. We need to conserve and protect the right to recycle. It makes a difference, it introduces people to the wider world of sustainability, and it gives people hope.

Rob, congratulations on an impressive career. We look forward to seeing your continued influence in your retirement.
 

Cheers! -The CURC Team
Want to hear more from this amazing alumni? Contact rob.gogan@gmail.com for questions and information!


 Will you be in the next #CURCCampusSpotlight or #CURC Alumni spotlight?


We want to share your campus story with other CURC members and recognize how amazing our network is. We are especially looking for campuses working on social justice programs! Follow this link to our website to submit your project for a campus spotlight or email curc3r@gmail.com to nominate an alumni to showcase.
NEWS AND TRENDS
Popular News

Sustainability concerns pile up amid packaged meal protocols

On Middlebury College's campus, they struggle to adjust food packaging for sustainability with safety regulations.

-Sophia McDermott-Hughes, The Middlebury Campus. Read full article here.

Industry Article

Food waste coalition launches with 14 major manufacturers and retailers

A large coalition sets the goal to cut food loss in half by 2025. Major players in the coalition commit to reporting food loss by 2021 among other goals.

-Lillianna Byington. Read full article here

Governor Announces Partnerships with SUNY Schools to Reduce Waste, Improve Recycling Across State

Partnerships with NY colleges and universities boost programs to study recycling costs, efficiency and outreach strategies in the state of New York.

-SUNY College of Environmental Science & Forestry. Read full article here.
RECYC-L Topics of the Quarter

  • LCA Study Many folks were interested in the work done in Life Cycle Assessments- whether they be focused on disposable to-go containers or smartphones. What calculations go into your purchasing?

  • What do you do with Plastic Corrugated Signs? As election season comes and goes, you may end up with a whole lot of yard signs in the waste heap. Some people donate them to arts departments, others to scrapyards for the metal. Finally, some were able to find a recycler through bulk pickup, not through regular recycling collection.

  • Propping open toter-style cart lids? One RECYC-Ler asked about if a product existed to prop open these waste bin lids, and others responded quickly, recommending this company. One could say this was free advertising, but if its this popular, I think they earned it.

Learn how to join the RECYC-L listserv for free by clicking on this link.
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