The University of Washington has become the first university nationally to sign the e-Stewards Enterprise Commitment, a pledge to be globally responsible in recycling electronic equipment.
The UW, which collects and recycles more than 90 tons of used electronic equipment a year, already uses a recycler that is e-Stewards certified. Signing the agreement formalizes the university’s commitment to that practice, according to Emily Newcomer, UW recycling manager.
A team of UW researchers recently developed a new method of recycling wood waste, utilizing the technology as the basis for a company. The startup, entitled Carbon Cultures, generates charcoal from recycling wood waste and sells it to farmers, gardeners, or any other customer looking to improve their soil.
“We needed to get some value from the forest and thought of wood waste,” said Jenny Knoth, CEO of Carbon Cultures and Ph.D. candidate in environmental and forest sciences. “So why not do the disposal on-site?”
As the Apple Cup approaches, the UW and Washington State University (WSU) rivalry strengthens. This rivalry isn’t just limited to sports. Most recently, it has extended to environmental issues. UW and WSU are currently competing in the One Thing Challenge, a competition to get students to pledge to change one thing in their daily routines to help the environment.
The One Thing Challenge began in 2008 when Clive Pursehouse, diversity initiatives administrator for UW Housing & Food Services (HFS), created the challenge and circulated it through the residence halls.
The Pacific Northwest Smart Grid Demonstration Project inaugurated its first widespread demonstration project Oct. 24 at Alder hall. The event marked the official beginning of UW’s effort to install a campus-wide smart grid that tracks power output in every building.
Approximately 90 people attended the event, with U.S. Sens. Maria Cantwell, Patty Murray, and UW Provost Ana Mari Cauce among the speakers.
With the help of a device that monitors energy consumption in her dorm room, University of Washington student Simone Schaffer was surprised to discover that her computer monitor is constantly devouring electricity — even when the screen is dark.
But the device that measures power use also allows Schaffer to take command of her energy-slurping monitor. She can shut a suite of electronics down completely with the touch of a button, using either a control panel in her room, or remotely through a cellphone app.
The University of Washington marked the start of the data-gathering phase of the UW Smart Grid Project with an event featuring Washington’s two US Senators.
The UW is one of 11 sites in the Pacific Northwest Smart Grid Demonstration Project, made possible by an $89 million grant from the U.S. Department of Energy (supplemented with matching funds) and managed by Battelle. The overall project goals are to identify opportunities to help save energy, make the power system more reliable and incorporate renewable energy into the power generation system.
Researchers around the world are working on an efficient, reliable way to contain the plasma used in fusion reactors, potentially bringing down the cost of this promising but technically elusive energy source. A new finding from the University of Washington could help contain and stabilize the plasma using as little as 1 percent of the energy required by current methods.