The University Record, May 20, 2002

B-School turns its focus to a different shade of green

By Martin May

Clint Smith of executive education and Emily Fox of Waste Management Services sort recyclables on Green Clean Day at the Business School (Photo by Martin Vloet, U-M Photo Services)
The School of Business Administration became a bit less cluttered May 17—Green Clean Day at the school. Throughout the daylong project, Business School faculty and staff cleaned their offices of recyclable materials and sorted out reusable items.

Seventy wheeled recycle bins, also known as gondolas, were brought in from Waste Management and Recycling Services and stationed at points throughout the school for faculty and staff to dump unneeded items. When the bins filled up, they were brought down to the sorting area, which was on the first floor near the loading dock that faces Tappan Street. Next, a team of staff emptied the bins and separated trash from reusable items.

“It’s incredible to see the large amount of reusable items,” says Green Clean Day Planning Committee member Linda Gorlitz, an academic secretary in the school. “We free up a lot of office space, which is a valuable commodity” she says.

In 2000, approximately 7.75 tons of paper were recycled by the Business School on Green Clean Day, according to Waste Management and Recycling Services. Gorlitz says last year the large recycling dumpster at the school’s dock had to be emptied seven times during the day.

It’s not just paper and cardboard that is recycled. The school collects old books and floppy disks, which are reformatted and sent to American Indian reservations and to schools in underdeveloped countries. The school also recycles transparencies by sending them to the 3M Corporation, which wipes them clean and packages them for reuse.

Other items sorted for reuse are three-ring binders, file folders, pens, markers and paper clips. All these articles are laid out neatly in the sorting area for Business School faculty and staff who might need to restock on materials. After two weeks, the school invites nonprofit organizations and churches to take what they need. Any leftover articles are sent to Waste Management and Recycling Services.

A team of 14 Business School staff—all volunteers—organized this year’s Green Clean Day. The Fleming Administration Building will conduct a similar day May 28. Last month, the Occupational Safety and Environmental Health Department and the Art and Architecture Building had their own Green Clean Days.