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For more information on projects CSCS staff are involved in, please visit the Environmental Finance Center at Syracuse University website. Housed at the SyracuseCoE CSCS, the Environmental Finance Center facilitates the development of sustainable and resilient communities across US EPA Region 2 - New Jersey, New York, Puerto Rico, the US Virgin Islands, and eight tribal nations.
In order to implement pollution prevention initiatives throughout K-12 schools in EPA Region 2 and also connect the “lessons learned” to more positively impact communities, CSCS will award sub-grants to fund community projects, based at local school districts. These projects will either implement green infrastructure technologies or create sustainable materials management programs. For more information contact Aimee Clinkhammer, Project Scientist, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Sustainable Materials Management
Sustainable Materials Management in Haiti — "Ayiti Plastik"
CSCS has engaged six Haitian graduate students enrolled at Syracuse University to initiate and implement Sustainable Materials Management programming in Haiti. Like many other island nations, Haiti is experiencing a chronic solid waste crisis. As a team, the students and CSCS will partner with numerous organizations to develop and implement projects that represent the entire spectrum of the sustainability framework—environmental stewardship, social justice, and economic development. There are currently two focus projects. First, we are attempting to create a supply chain and market for lumber manufactured from recycled plastic materials. This would not only stimulate economic development through business and job creation, but would also help to overcome challenges related to a lack of building materials in the country. Secondly, the team would like to replicate CSCS’s successful Puerto Rico Organics Internship program, which would train Haitian University students to educate the public about various methods that can be used to divert and reuse organic waste. The outputs of these methods include valuable materials, such as nutrient-rich compost that could help to address challenges of soil erosion and the depletion of nutrients resulting from deforestation.
Sustainable Materials Management Caribbean Summit
CSCS is in the initial planning stages of designing and organizing a summit to be held in Puerto Rico that will attract solid waste experts and government officials from through the Caribbean basin. This effort would require many strong partnerships, so CSCS hopes to engage with the US Economic Development Council, the US Environmental Protection Agency, the Organization of American States, the Puerto Rico Recycling Partnership, the National Recycling Coalition, and various Caribbean governments, just to name a few. The purpose of the summit is to help the region face solid waste challenges as a team, working together to create a better system for all of the Caribbean nations. To accomplish this, the summit would include trainings, presentations, and constructive conversations about the unique challenges to sustainable waste management in the Caribbean and possible solutions. The goal of the summit is to begin the development of a regional waste management plan and for attendees to leave with strong action steps that would move the region toward greater sustainability, materials management, and prosperity.
CAFO Leachate Management Through Dairy Wetlands
Leachate runoff from Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations (CAFOs) can impair local watersheds if not properly managed. A dairy CAFO in Madison County, New York employs a wetland system designed to treat the farm’s high-flow silage (low concentration) leachate, and barnyard runoff. Designed by the County’s Soil and Water Conservation District office, the constructed wetland consists of a catchment basin, four filter cells and a drain field in which the leachate travels before the treated product enters a small stream. To better understand the system’s efficiency as well as biological and chemical processes, the Center for Sustainable Community Solutions partnered with the Center for Environmental Systems Engineering at Syracuse University and a private sector water-testing lab to monitor the wetland monthly through several sampling tests. Samples are collected to test for levels of fecal coliform, BOD5, pH, ANC, DOC, TN, P, TS, TSS, Hg, various other metals, and more. A flora inventory is also part of the study to serve as an indicator of biological efficiency, diversity and overall health of the wetland. This collective effort will result in a better understanding of best management practices on CAFOs and beyond. For more details, please contact Brad DeFrees at email@example.com.
Left: A constructed wetland treats leachate from the adjacent CAFO.
Right: Syracuse University undergrad Gerardo Martinez and CSCS Project Scientist Aimee Clinkhammer analyze a water sample from the wetland.
SyracuseCoE in the Classroom is a online tool to help teachers bring environmental lessons into their curriculum. SyracuseCoE in the Classroom features hundreds of resources—including lesson plans, activities, and videos—on topics including sustainable materials management, green infrastructure, climate change, and more!
Solar Energy Workshop
In July 2012, CSCS staff led a half day workshop on green building and solar energy for a group of high school students from the LaFayette Big Picture School. Students learned about geothermal energy, green roofs, and other innovative technologies as they the toured the LEED Platinum Certified SyracuseCoE HQ. Following the tour, students learned about renewable and nonrenewable sources of energy, and got hands on experience building homemade solar kits to power a DC motor and fan.
Science Horizons Field Day
July 2011 — CSCS led a STEM field day for a group of students from the Science Horizons summer program coordinated by University College at Syracuse University. The field day included an interactive building tour of the SyracuseCoE HQ and chemistry experiments with liquid nitrogen provided by SUNY-ESF chemistry professor Christopher Numora.
Connect a Million Minds STEM Field Day
April 2011 — Time Warner Cable and CSCS co-organized a half day STEM event for 50 fifth and sixth grade students from Salem Hyde Elementary as part of TWC's Connect a Million Minds Initaitive. Held at the Syracuse Center of Excellence Headqaurters building, the event featured a variety of STEM related activities including a green building tour, a worm bin workshop led by OCRRA, and chemistry experiments provided by SUNY-ESF chemistry professor Neal Abrams.
Girl Scouts Energy Explorers Programs
2010 & 2011 — CSCS led two "Energy Explorers" workshops at the LEED Platinum Syracuse Center of Excellence for local Girl Scout troops in fourth and fifth grades. Girl Scouts learned about innovative green technologies at the Syracuse Center of Excellence that conserve energy and water, and participated in classroom activities on renewable and nonrenewable energy.