Between the first waste audit in September 2008 and the second waste audit in April 2011, astounding results were noted. A significant impact was seen in contaminated trash - 22% in 2008 versus 50% in 2011. Per The University's Facilities Management, this reflects that more of what can be recycled is being recycled. The decrease in comingled paper "comes from people changing their behavior which comes from a successful education program and making the issue of recycling important - both things the Go Green Committee has done very well" (Recycle Coordinator, Facilities Management).
Go Green has become a part of the culture at the College of Dentistry. It is grass roots driven and all suggestions are evaluated and addressed. Single-stream recycle containers are everywhere and more bike racks were purchased to encourage people to bike to the College. In addition, the Go Green Committee established a partnership with The University's Facilities Management, The University's Office of Sustainability, undergraduate environmentally-focused student groups, the Iowa City Landfill, City Carton, and the DNR Waste Exchange. The student committee has met with other student environmental groups on campus and networks on issues. New ideas continue to surface and many future projects are happening. Here is a short preview of some initiatives: composting in one department has led to current exploration of campus-wide feasibility; a pilot program for glove and mask recycling; a public education and fun event. Local print and broadcast media covered the College's waste audits. Recently, the College's Go Green Committee received The University of Iowa Improving Our Workplace Award (IOWA) for its efforts. However, the best publicity the College has received has been The University Facilities Management using The College of Dentistry as a model with other departments and colleges on campus.
Email questions & comments for the College of Dentistry Go Green Committee to: Go Green Committee