Meet Chuck Ruffing, the New Director of NYSP2I

Community Grants Highlight

Student Competition Recap

Announcement: Organic Resource Locator

WAVE Food Audit Program

Brewer Workshop

Imagine RIT

About NYSP2I

Welcome to the Spring issue of the P2I Bulletin. As the new director of NYSP2I, I am pleased and excited to be joining an organization committed to finding sustainable solutions for businesses and the community. I am pleased to announce that the final 2016-17 New York State Budget included unprecedented funding for critical environmental programs. With an increase of $123 million from last year, the Environmental Protection Fund (EPF) is at a historic level of $300 million! As part of that funding, NYSP2I will receive $4 million dollars for our pollution prevention efforts. We commend Governor Cuomo for taking this monumental step toward a healthy and sustainable New York State. In this issue, you will learn about our Community Grants Program, WAVE Project and our new and improved Organic Resource Locator. We also recap another successful Student Competition and Imagine RIT. Thank you for your continued support! 

-Dr. Chuck Ruffing, Director, NYSP2I 
MeetMeet Chuck Ruffing, the New Director of NYSP2I

Dr. Charles (Chuck) Ruffing  was named the Director of the New York State Pollution Prevention Institute on January 25 th . Ruffing is a recognized leader and former Vice President of Health, Safety, Environment and Sustainability at Eastman Kodak Co.  At Kodak, Ruffing was responsible for coordinating sustainability initiatives across the company's multinational locations, including environmental compliance support to operations and products worldwide. He was responsible for effectively creating pollution prevention strategies related to business conditions while guiding significant reductions in safety incidents, greenhouse gas emissions and energy use at the company's largest manufacturing sites.

In his role with NYSP2I he leads a team of 21 engineers, technical staff, outreach specialists and students in delivering pollution prevention information, research, and direct assistance to NYS businesses and citizens.  State DEC Acting Commissioner Basil Seggos said NYSP2I, under Ruffing's leadership, is uniquely positioned to provide the necessary assistance to companies looking to reduce their environmental footprint.  "Charles Ruffing brings a wealth of leadership experience to the New York State Pollution Prevention Institute and I congratulate him on his appointment," Seggos said. "I look forward to working with him, Rochester Institute of Technology and NYSP2I to continue to drive innovation and foster real-world solutions in reducing pollution."
CommunityCommunity Grants Highlight

NYSP2I's Community Grants Program (GCP) is currently funding 13 non-profit organizations through New York State. The funding is focused on the promotion and implementation of pollution-prevention practices at a local level.  

New York Hall of Science (NYSCI)'s Project: 

The Queens based NYSCI offered a camp program during February break, "Ecology in Focus" to 25 local teenagers. The camp program allowed the group to use digital cameras and tablets to observe and document pollution in their neighborhoods. Participants learned basic photography and photo editing skills, causes for local pollution, and used a free software program called GIMP to design potential solutions to the environmental problems they had identified.

Photo credit: NYSCI, 2016

"My idea is to install algae farms above streets with heavy traffic and highways. It is not only a means of filtering the harmful exhaust fuels of cars and other automobiles, but also a smart means of urban farming. The algae would be cultivated inside tubes, and a series of pumps, filters and solar panels aid the process. The algae can then be harvested and produced into biofuel, nutrients, medications, and cosmetics." - Georgios Psahos, NYSCI student 
StudStudent Competition Recap

NYSP2I hosted the 5th Annual R&D Student Com petition at Clarkson University on April 22nd. The competition is open to graduate and undergraduate teams at universities across New York State.  Teams traveled from the State University of New York at Buffalo, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Syracuse University, Vassar Col lege, State University of New York at Stony Brook, Rochester Institute of Technology, and Clarkson  University, and competed to develop innovative solutions in three topic areas: Food Waste Source Prevention in Grocery Stores, the Community or University Energy Challenge, or Smart Home- Reduction in Energy Consumption.

This year, 12 teams contended for $6,000 in prizes, and the top prizes went to:
  • Jeff Sama 1st Place winner- Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, "Automated Power Conservation and Color Temperature Control".
  • 2nd Place- University of Buffalo, "One-Step Facile Strategy to Enhance Membrane Antifouling Properties for Wastewater Reuse".
  • 3rd Place- Rochester Institute of Technology, "Reusable Packaging System with Insulating and Ethylene-Absorbing Abilities as an Effective Tool to Eliminate Food Wastage". 
"Clarkson University is dedicated to conducting scientific discovery and technological innovation through our Institute for a Sustainable Environment and it's a pleasure to partner with other schools and state agencies to promote and encourage research leaders of tomorrow to pursue these goals," said Tony Collins, President of Clarkson University. "Our faculty are involved in applying technology and interdisciplinary approaches to develop environmentally sustainable approaches to industrial applications through effective public- private partnership."

FoodFood Waste Studies

NYSP2I received $500,000 from the NYS Department of Environmental Conservation to research areas of food waste reduction, diversion, and beneficial reuse. The first step for the project is auditing large food waste generators/institutions.  A food waste audit involves measuring food and organic flows through the kitchen, looking at the amount, type, and reason for the generation of wasted food. 

New York City, as well as a number of other US cities and states have recently adopted new laws restricting food and organic waste disposal in landfills. This trend is likely to continue as awareness of the cost and environmental impact of food waste increases.  A 2015 New York Times article  by Ron Nixon discusses how " the food discarded by retailers and consumers in the most developed countries would be more than enough to feed all of the world's 870 million hungry people, according to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations." Around one third of all food produced is wasted, and the cost to produce the waste could equal as much as $600 billion per year by 2030.  The environmental contribution of food waste in landfills is roughly 3.3 billion metric tons of methane greenhouse gas emissions per year.

The first step towards reducing this waste is awareness, and P2I is striving to get the word out. The most recent food audit from RIT's Grace Watson Dining Hall donated over 5,000lbs of usable food to FoodLink -a regional food bank in Western NY- and diverted 44 tons of food waste from the landfill between July and November of 2015. We are currently seeking large food generators and institutions to participate in a free food audit program. 

Email nysp2i@rit.edu for more information.
ORLAnnouncement: Updated  Organic Resource Locator (ORL) 
We are pleased to announce the  Organic Resource Locator  has been updated with improved functionality, more accurate waste estimates, and more data reflecting thousands of businesses in New York State. The Organic Resource Locator (ORL) is a web-based mapping tool that provides information on organic resources and utilization pathways in New York State.

The information provided in the ORL is intended to enable efficient and increased utilization of organic resources by connecting producers of organics with those who have a use for them, diverting a valuable resource from our landfills. This effort is meant to help reduce environmental impacts, promote economic development and encourage the development of green technologies.
  • Locations of producers and users of organic resources
  • Point and radius search
  • Downloadable datasets
  • Updated waste estimates for thousands of businesses
BrewerBrewer Workshop
Last month, Matt Brewing Company (Saranac) in Utica, New York hosted a Brewers Workshop with the Master Brewers Association of Americas (MBAA), NYS Brewers Association, and NYSP2I. Brewers from around the state gathered to share their experiences, and join the conversation about sustainability.

The workshop highlighted practical solutions for implementing sustainability changes at breweries. In addition to the workshop, sessions were offered that discussed practical solutions for water/wastewater and energy efficiency and reduction challenges.
ImagineImagine RIT Draws 30,000 to Innovation + Creativity Festival

Did you know about 40% of all food produced is never eaten? NYSP2I hosted an exhibit on food waste at this year's Imagine RIT Innovation + Creativity Festival. The event, held on Saturday, May 7 th , hosted over 30,000 attendees, and showcased student, faculty, and  staff  projects across all disciplines. 

This year's exhibit, "Diverting Food Waste in a Supply Chain" tested attendees on their knowledge about food waste from the farm, all the way to the disposal of food. They followed the supply chain while learning about the amount of waste created from one of our favorite activities-making pizza! Attendees also learned ways to sustainably dispose of food waste to further prevent environmental pollution.
AboutAbout NYSP2I

NYSP2I is your resource for a more sustainable New York State. Funded by the NYS Department of Environmental Conservation, NYSP2I provides a state-wide, program of research, technology development & diffusion, outreach, training, and education, aimed at making New York State more sustainable for workers, the public and the economy through:
  • Reductions in toxic chemical use
  • Reductions in emissions to the environment and waste generation
  • The efficient use of raw materials, energy and water
Funding provided by the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation. © 2016 Rochester Institute of Technology. Any opinions, results, findings, and/or interpretations of data contained herein are the responsibility of Rochester Institute of Technology and its NYS Pollution Prevention Institute and do not represent the opinions, interpretation or policy of the State.