Going green

How the university keeps its campuses eco-friendly

By on April 25, 2017
IMG_8176.JPGErin Kane | The Quinnipiac Chronicle

Quinnipiac is committed to building one of the most environmentally-friendly campuses in America, according to the university handbook. The most iconic memento to the university’s sustainability are the 25 wind turbines that stand high on the York Hill campus.

The wind turbines are designed to generate 33,000 kilowatt-hours of energy a year. This is roughly three times the consumption annually for a United States residential utility customer, according to Associate Vice President of Facilities Keith Woodward

“I think it’s a great statement the university has made about its commitment to protect the environment by having the renewable energy sources,” Woodward said.

Freshman occupational therapy major Isabella Fazo believes that the wind farm on the York Hill campus distinguishes Quinnipiac from all other universities.

“Not a lot of schools actually have (windmills on campus),” Fazo said. “It’s really cool that we have windmills and a lot of them don’t,”

The York Hill campus emphasizes on the university’s sustainability platform with geothermal heating and cooling in the Eastview residence hall.

Geothermal energy is the production of energy using the internal heat of the earth’s crust. This heat comes from the radioactive decay of minerals and continual heat loss from the earth’s original formation.

Adjacent to the Eastview residence hall are 50 ground wells. Generally, ground temperature is warmer in the winter and will heat the water, and in turn, the building. During the summer, the circulated water underground will aid in providing air conditioning, according to Woodward.

Atop the Crescent residence hall are 721 photovoltaic solar panels, which generate more than 250,000 kilowatt-hours a year. Roughly 240-250,000 kilowatt hours are used per year in the Crescent residence halls from the solar panels, according to Woodward.

On the Mount Carmel campus, the village residence halls generate about eight to nine kilowatt hours per day, according to Woodward.

There are 28 village buildings that consist of 14 in Old Village and the remaining 14 in New Village. With four suites making up one village building, there are 112 suites in the village buildings total.

With an average of 8.5 kilowatt hours being produced by a village building per day, it is estimated that each village suite generates about 952 kilowatt- hours per day.

The amount of energy used goes down when students go home for holidays such as Easter, which took place the weekend of April 14-16.

IMG_1552Erin Kane | The Quinnipiac Chronicle

The university also expands upon its sustainability efforts by offering a single-stream recycling system. The blue baskets located around the university can be used to dispose of plastic products numbered one through seven. This includes magazines, newspapers and catalogs, according to the university handbook.

Non-recyclable items that should not be put into these bins include plastic bags, garbage and all food waste.

Throughout the university’s campuses are solar-powered trash cans that collect energy from the sun and use it to compact the garbage inside. Each holds four to five times as much trash as the typical receptacle, which reduces landfill, according to the university’s Facebook page.

After recyclable items have been dropped off in their blue baskets, they are then taken to City Carting and Recycling in Milford.

Fazo thinks that there is more the university could do to make students aware of the recycling initiatives on campus.

“I think it’s a really helpful adaptation for the environment,” Fazo said, “Just promoting it, see how there’s signs in the cafe. They could put up signs and stuff and kids will be more aware (of the correct way to recycle on campus),”

In terms of the future of Quinnipiac’s sustainability endeavours, Woodward believes that there is still more to be done.

“Certainly, with a look at the longer term, you will see more LED lights, like we have at York Hill to help reduce energy use,” Woodward said. “We continue to look at opportunities with good ROI (return on investments) and savings to the University and try and capitalize on those opportunities for savings.”

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About Victoria Simpri

News Editor
Email: victoria.simpri@quinnipiac.edu
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Year: 2018
Major: Finance