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Environmental program grows with new initiatives, coordinator

A newly created position in Occupational Safety and Environmental Health (OSEH)—the environmental stewardship coordinator—will be in charge of overseeing existing ecological efforts across campus as well as new initiatives.

Andrew Berki will serve in the new position. “Everyone is a steward of the environment around us,” he says. “We are caretakers of the resources that surround us, and it is our responsibility to administer those resources to the best of our abilities so they are available for future generations to appreciate and enjoy.”
Andrew Berki, the new environmental stewardship coordinator, speaks at the recent EnergyFest event on the Diag. (Photo by Martin Vloet, U-M Photo Services)

Berki, who has been with OSEH for nine years specializing in pollution prevention programs, will focus on coordinating the tracking of existing environmental stewardship efforts around campus and will assist in developing new initiatives, including additional pollution prevention programs such as silver recovery, mercury reduction and chemical redistribution.

Meanwhile, other environmental stewardship programs continue to grow. In August, the recycling staff in Grounds and Waste Management worked with staff and students in University Housing during student move-in to collect enough polystyrene block (often used to protect computers and other equipment during shipping) to fill two 48-foot semi-trailers for transportation to a company that will recycle the material into new hard plastic containers. More than 2,200 cubic yards of cardboard also was collected.

“We collected 54 percent more cardboard than we did during student move-in last fall,” says Sarah Archer, U-M’s recycling coordinator. “Our students continue to bring more stuff to campus, but more people also are helping reduce our waste stream by collecting the recyclables.”

Recycling plastic bottles and cardboard at football games continues to be a big job, especially this year with seven home games. Through the first three games, more than 13 tons of plastic bottles and six tons of cardboard have been captured from the waste stream.

“It’s a lot of work during the games, but we have friendly volunteers who have helped us,” says Brianne Haven, a waste reduction specialist. “At the Utah game, we were joined by students from the Pioneer High School National Honor Society. Other community service workers will join the fun during the second half of the season.”

The Utilities and Plant Engineering group in Plant Operations joined forces with the Center for Sustainable Systems in the School of Natural Resources and Environment Sept. 19 to present EnergyFest 2002 on the Central Campus Diag. The mid-day event featured a variety of exhibitors sharing information about conservation efforts on campus, including energy management, waste management, environmental stewardship, pollution prevention, recycling and safety.

For more information about these and other environmental initiatives, check out the new University web site that was launched earlier this year at

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