It’s Environmental Services (EVS) Appreciation Week, a special time of the year to honor and acknowledge the amazing EVS staff at UNMC and Nebraska Medicine. In a complex healthcare environment, we heavily depend on them, though they are often unrecognized.
EVS performs a lot of often thankless tasks: cleaning toilets, continually cleaning up the salt we track in each winter, even wayfinding. All those things we take for granted—but definitely notice when they’re not done. They also take out the trash—all of it. Did you know that in the last year almost 8 million lbs of waste (equivalent to the weight of 24 blue whales, largest animal on earth) has left this campus? All of that has been handled by the person that cleans your area.
Recycling is an important part of our goals and EVS is happy to help, even though it creates extra steps for them. I hope you understand the health, economic, and pollution benefits of recycling; it’s so much more than meeting a goal and that makes this week the perfect time to thank EVS for the work they do.
Of that almost 8 million pounds of waste, we recycled 2.25 million lbs, equivalent to the weight of 885 mini cooper cars, hauled out of our spaces in 4 distinct streams (paper, plastic/metal, cardboard, trash). It’s get better—from 2010 to present we have recycled 11 million lbs; equivalent to the weight of 542 F-16 fighter jets.
At any opportunity, whether this week or next month, please take time to acknowledge and thank an EVS employee for their extraordinary contribution to our many successes. You can also ensure items are getting recycled while helping them to do their job by:
- Pouring out all liquids before recycling (scrape food off too)
- Blue bins are only for paper—not cardboard or bottles
- If you don’t have a trash can in your office, trash and recyclables must be taken elsewhere. That decision was budgetary and was not made by your EVS person—don’t take it out on them
- Fiber clamshells are currently trash (not paper or cardboard) but will be composted soon
- Flatten all cardboard, place it between the wall and the bin
- Don’t wish-cycle; it’s important to recycle right
- Say thank you!—everyone wants to know their contribution is valued
Speaking of, thank you—taking these easy steps to recycle everything you can is important.
image courtesy of: freeimages.com/dominikgwarek