Facilities Management

Emily Dalnodar

Dusty, moldy, old and in-the-way junk — 800 tons of it — is out of University buildings and into recycling centers. Some of the more interesting items they found sit on display at Morrill Hall.
University Facilities Management crews are wrapping up a nine-month, $180,000 program this week that effectively eliminated tons of waste from campus buildings.
Each department had one week to collect and sort everything they deemed useless for the crews to cart away.
“Hands down, the mechanical engineering building had the most stuff,” said Dana Donatucci, recycling coordinator. Most buildings received eight large hampers per day to clear out their trash, but the engineering building requested 40.
Between their current facility and the old electrical engineering building, they filled 200 hampers, 12 semi trucks and 25 moving vans. It took them two months to clean the two structures, said Barbara Pucel, mechanical engineering administrator.
The program started on Beautiful U Day in October, said Tim Busse, recycling communications specialist. In one day, facilities crews collected more than 106 tons of recyclable materials. “We figured one day wasn’t enough,” Busse said.
While 156 campus buildings might seem empty now, the University’s recycling center is packed with furniture, computers, scrap metal, window glass and other assorted goods.
Crew members separated materials at the plant. Furniture and general debris accounted for 413 tons. Recyclable paper amassed 178 tons, residential appliances (old lab equipment and microwaves) totalled 12 tons. Electrical equipment made up 135 tons. Scrap metal piled up to 64 tons and industrial appliances came out to 32 tons.
The Morrill Hall display includes publications from the 1800s, an outdated scale, archaic lab equipment and other assorted finds. Items will be displayed most of the summer; some might go to the historical society.
Everything salvageable is kept at the recycling center on Como Avenue to redistribute back to University offices. In addition to desks, filing cabinets and chairs, an entire section is devoted to computers, monitors and printers.
Erik Kaukis, a recycling center teamster, hired on extra help just to test all computers and verify that they work. Once established, they are made available to any University department to claim at no cost.
“We could be making money off of this, but we’re doing it as a service to the University,” Kaukis said. They have already given away 30 computers and have 20 486 IBMs ready for redistribution.
Kaukis encourages departments to donate old, unnecessary electronic equipment to the center. If the University has no need for the equipment, it goes on sale to the public.
Following this year’s massive effort, facilities officials said they plan to keep up on the cleaning more regularly. In addition to routine clean-outs, they now plan to haul more furniture, computers and scrap metal in stepping up their normal efforts.
“There are a lot of people who did a really great job of coordinating their departments,” Donatucci said. “That goes the same with the staff on our end who busted their butts. It was a success only because a lot of people really worked hard.”