February 25, 2016

The second round of the Syracuse University Environmental Finance Center’s (SU-EFC) New York State Sustainable Materials Management Stewardship Program is underway with two trainings held in February in Syracuse. The program engages college students in intensive training on the topic of Sustainable Materials Management (SMM)—specifically reuse, reduction, recycling, and composting—and then connects the students (known as “Stewards” in the program) to local organizations working on SMM issues to help implement special projects.

The program builds off a successful first round in the spring 2015 semester, as well as sister programs that have been implemented in Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands. This round, 22 students from Syracuse University (SU) and the State University of New York College of Environmental Science and Forestry (SUNY-ESF) have signed on to participate, and will receive either college credit or pay for their contributions.

Project leads Lisa Ruggero and Laura Flagg from SU-EFC were joined by partners from the Onondaga County Resource Recovery Agency (OCRRA) and SUNY-ESF to deliver the first training on February 11. Mark Lichtenstein, Executive Director of Sustainability at SUNY-ESF and SMM expert provided a high-level overview of the subject, and Theresa Mandery, Recycling Specialist from OCRRA, spoke about specific SMM education efforts taking place in Onondaga County.

A second training was held in Syracuse on February 25. The training included an overview of assigned readings and videos, a presentation on food recovery and organics management from Environmental Program Specialist, Gary Feinland, of the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (NYSDEC), as well as an introduction to the program’s partner organizations. Partners include Syracuse Grows, the NYSDEC, and the New York State Association for Reduction, Reuse, and Recycling (NYSAR3).

Students will have the ability to create their own projects, or assist with one of several pre-identified projects, and will report on their work at the end of the semester.