are fortunate to have a wide range of people serving on the SAC so we get many different perspectives,” he said. Sheri Denk, Coordinator of MCC’s Center for Community Engagement, and Pat Hyde, Professor of Developmental Reading, are both “charter members” of SAC and very involved in supporting the events and activities the SAC decides to pursue. They focus on getting everyone on campus involved in sustainability events, such as the annual Book Recycling Drive and Zero Waste Events. They also try to incorporate ways for student groups and clubs to be involved, and have found the best way to get students interested is to focus on a specific project. They are now working on a Zero Waste component for the April interdisciplinary weekend, and investigating ways to reduce waste at the weekend’s meals by using environmentally friendly but affordable utensils, plates and such. “Perhaps the weekend can be a model for other college events, but it gets a bit complicated since we have to figure out where to put the compost,” said Denk. “We will also be very involved at the weekend’s Sustainability Fair in Bedford, working with outside vendors and helping with food and waste,” said Hyde. Accomplishments of the SAC to date are many. Middlesex’s first Zero Waste Event, the student awards banquet attended by 150 people last May, was a huge success. The committee designed a plan in which all event-related materials were efficiently sorted into specific bins. Food scraps were delivered to a local farm for pig food. Liquid waste was poured down a drain, and all paper goods and bottles were put into “single stream” recycling containers. As a result, the bag of actual trash from the event was little more than three to four pounds – primarily plastic packaging materials. The spring Textbook Drives also have been very successful, producing more books than anticipated each time. Recycling containers are now used at all events on both campuses and also at Nesmith House and Middlesex Meetinghouse events. Recycling bins are now in all administrative offices and hallways. Recycling also is done at all Fitness Center events. The number of printed college catalogs was reduced from 30,000 five years ago to 300 this year. Semester schedules and admissions materials also have been significantly reduced, saving both trees and money. The Publications Department has also been busy designing reusable cups and lunch totes. In addition, an effort has been made to print large-run projects, such as viewbooks and semester schedules, on post-consumer recycled stock, using soy-based inks. Much more is in the planning stages. The Boston & Maine Building in Lowell will be a Silver LEED Building, when it is renovated. Design studies are now underway. The committee will continue to explore geothermal options, even though it is expensive to incorporate into older buildings. Seminars are planned to teach faculty how to incorporate geothermal principles into science and engineering courses. The committee is working with food services to use more earth-friendly materials, and new, segmented recycling containers are being ordered for both cafeterias. April will be Sustainability Month at the college, with many more activities planned. MCC’s Sustainability Advisory Committee always welcomes new ideas and new members. If you would like to participate, e-mail: Deborah Kearney Then & Now 230 – graduates in Class of 1972 (first commencement) 1,125 – graduates in Class of 2010 850 – students in 1970 17,000 – credit and noncredit students in 2011 first online course offered in 1996 316 – online courses offered in 2009 16 – full-time faculty in 1970 122 – full-time faculty in 2010 11 – associate degree programs in 1970 55 – associate degree programs in 2010 $3.9 million – state funds approved to build Bedford campus, 1984 $98.2 million – MCC’s total economic impact in Middlesex County, 2009 |16| Profiles