Friday, August 12, 2011

Recognizing Building Service Workers

We feel that it's important to support and highlight individuals on campus who help make our recycling program run better.  To get things started this summer, we wanted to begin by recognizing the hard work of the Building Service Workers (BSWs) who play an integral role in improving recycling operations on campus.

In the past year, a number of buildings (SEO, EEI, CSB, DHSP and SPHPI) have been supplied with new equipment funded by a grant from the State of Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity. Check out the graphs below to see how the DCEO grants, which helped increase the equipment and/or promotion of the recycling program in these buildings, and recycling behavior from building occupants and BSWs, have affected recycling in each building.
The percentage increase in paper fiber recycling at UIC buildings with DCEO-funded grant support; SPHPI had a more than 450% increase!
The averaged monthly weight (in pounds) of bottle & can recycling at UIC buildings with DCEO-funded grant support; SPHPI had an average monthly weight of about 300 pounds, while DHSP had recycled on average 260 pounds per month.
Of these, the building with the greatest increase in paper and cardboard recycling, as well as the greatest average monthly weight of bottle and can recycling, was the School of Public Health/Psychiatric Institute. Over the last year, there were five BSWs who worked there: Martin Flores, Sylvia Padilla, Ofelia Ruiz, Toya Sevier and Glenn Willoughby. Their Assistant Facility Manager is Genneine Johnson.


To recognize these individuals, we held a small awards ceremony in the BSW offices at SPHPI.  The awards included a certificate of appreciation and a gift of candy. We did some research and used candy that was actually made locally in Chicago! Using re-used jars provided by Office of Sustainability staff, the gift packages were filled with Tootsie Rolls and Starlight Mints.

We want to continue the BSW recognition program throughout the year, and will be looking at our building recycling data to determine which buildings have been showing the greatest improvements. In addition to building data, we want to know of other ways that the BSWs in your building support sustainability, so we encourage students, faculty and staff to nominate a Building Service Worker using our online form.

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