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Resource Conservation
The Department of Administrative Services (DAS) has designated its buildings as resource conservation zones. This means DAS works hard to save energy and water in its buildings, as well as ensure employees and tenants recycle to the best of their ability. The goal is to save taxpayer money and care for the environment to the greatest extent possible.

Policies and Practices in DAS Buildings
recycling barrels Recycling
 
Garten Services now collects recycling in Salem and Portland as commingled. All CLEAN plastic, metal and paper can be put in the same blue barrels. Glass, batteries, cardboard, and other materials should continue to be separated.
 
Flyer that summarizes recycling changes 
 
Signs to post at recycling stations and above specific barrels:
Post-Consumer Content Paper
On recent sustainability walk-thrus of DAS buildings for EarthWISE certification, we found that many agencies used paper with no post-consumer content at their copy stations, called Boise X-9. We suspect something changed within the Office Max on-line order system and substitutions were made.  However, we can correct the situation now.
Talk with the folks who place orders for your office and ensure they aren't just "ordering what they did last time," which may be virgin paper. 
paper 
Post-consumer content paper was required by Executive Order 98-07, and while that E.O. has been superseded, it is still an expectation of the Governor that state agencies implement this standard.  
 
Information for those who place orders 
 
 
Resource Conservation Policy
DAS released an updated policy to focus on resource conservation in the buildings on May 1. It includes a new layout, increased language around operation of building systems and recycling, and clarification of tenant responsibilities. However, over the month of June, DAS realized that increased resource conservation in the buildings could save jobs. This prompted the decision to release another version on July 1 that will include innovative measures, such as plans to limit lighting operation at night and increase the frequency of night audits in the buildings. 
 
For more on the policy, visit:    
 
 

Green Teams
DAS plans to create two new green teams every six months. The goal is to reduce energy consumption in the buildings, but also to connect tenants with the operation of their buildings and help them understand how their actions impact the world…and the state’s pocketbook. By joining a green team, participants will: 
   green team logo 
  • help DAS with night energy audits,
  • contribute ideas for saving resources,
  • develop Impact Days to engage the rest of the building and track the results,
  • distribute information to the building and,
  • actively make a difference.
More information:
     Sustainability information and Green Teams in DAS buildings 
     Green Team tips and best practices
 

Energy
 DAS is required to save at least 20 percent of the energy we used in the year 2000.  Tenants control about 30 percent of the energy use in buildings through plug loads (anything that plugs into an electrical outlet).  Here are a few ways we ask everyone to help out:
  • Turn off computers, monitors, and peripherals when you leave at night.  Plug them all into a power strip that you can turn off with one switch when you leave.  Turn off monitor if away more than 1 hour. 
  • Don't use space heaters that consume more than 150 watts and have the potential to confuse the building system if placed near a thermostat.
  • Don't use hot plates, toasters, or other devices that could be a fire hazard.
  • Don't bring in unnecessary items such as fountains, fish tanks, non-communal refrigerators, large fans, etc.
  • After hours, use task lights rather than the overhead lights.  Since emergency lights are always on, the buildings are never completely dark.
  • Always purchase Energy Star-rated equipment.
  • If physically able, take the stairs instead of the elevator.
  • If you sit by a window, use proper management of blinds:
    • in the winter, open your blinds during the day to let sunlight in and close your blinds at night to keep cold air out;
    • in the summer, close your blinds when the sun shines on them, and open them at night to help cool the space near your desk naturally.
Energy Resources for State Agencies
 

Water
Water is another precious resource in the Oregon. Despite the rain, we are often short of drinking and irrigation water in the summer. It's imperative we do what we can to save water in DAS buildings. Report any leaks you notice inside or outside the facility to your building manager, and don't leave the water running while you scrub your hands or dishes.water fountain 

Recycling and Garbage
recycling 
General Recycling
Due to centralized waste collection, all tenants must take their waste material to central depots in their buildings.  DAS custodians empty these barrels nightly.  Individual waste material at desks can be dumped either daily or less frequently, as long as no perishables stay in cans at desks overnight. 
DAS encourages reuse of office products before buying new. This includes file folders, paper clips, binders, sheet protectors, boxes, and any other material that is in decent condition and could be used again.  Talk to your office manager to find out where the stash of used office material resides in your area before ordering new.  If there isn't a place, work with your coworkers to create one.  If you can't find a reuse option for used material, all state buildings have extensive recycling programs.  In DAS buildings, we recycle all paper material (fiber), cardboard, batteries, laser print cartridges, toner cartridges, Tyvek, fluorescent light tubes, plastic, metal, aluminum, glass, and electronic waste.
 
 
Electronic Recycling
Surplus and Garten Services just passed the one-year mark in their partnership to handle recycling and refurbishing of the state's electronic waste - known as e-waste. Before the partnership, Surplus handled the duties.
 
Feedback from state agencies, cities, and counties indicates customers like how Garten picks up e-waste quickly and securely. Garten has also passed every security review and random audit of its process to sanitize data.
 
So where have the old computers (and other electronic devices) gone? Roughly 30 percent of the state's e-waste gets refurbished and reused.
 
Garten Services, a Qualified Rehabilitation Facility, provides job opportunities for people with disabilities. This article adapted from the winter edition of SPO News.