Dallas College News Update


Bijal Patel displays her version of René Magritte’s “The Seducer.”

Contact: Cherie Yurco; cmyurco@dallascollege.edu

For immediate release — Sept. 15, 2021

(DALLAS) — A hardworking Dallas College team garnered the top award for Education and Awareness in the nationwide 2021 “Campus Race to Zero Waste” competition. The win was announced on the National Wildlife Federation blog, which details how colleges across the country got creative in their waste-minimizing practices and promotion during the pandemic.

While Dallas College campuses have taken part in the case study competition since 2008, this was the first Race to Zero since Dallas College has become one institution. Dallas College Assistant Director of Sustainability Education Lori Delacruz Lewis led development of the Zero Waste Educational Hub. The site was developed for internal audiences and provides information in six main areas: circular economy, backyard composting, fast fashion, plastic pollution crisis, recycling and vermicomposting. As part of a larger library of resources, the hub served to unite all seven campuses toward collegewide sustainability goals and resources.

Richland Campus theater faculty replaced lighting with safer and more energy efficient LED technology, and costumes, sets and props are stored for repurposing and reuse.

Brandon Morton, Dallas College assistant director of sustainability operations, spearheaded this year’s entry, which detailed how the college’s adept team of sustainability professionals were able to promote the zero-waste initiative and model zero-waste practices in art, construction and public health.

“Our entire team stepped up to get our students and staff involved remotely across all campuses,” said Morton. “With the transition to one college amid a global pandemic, we worked incredibly hard to sustain continuity of engagement across all locations.”

“I am so proud of how the Dallas College Office of Sustainability successfully implemented this education and awareness campaign during the pandemic,” said Georgeann Moss, senior director of the office.

Faculty took a lead role in involving students. Dallas College North Lake Campus art professor Brett Dyer challenged his students, working at home, to create two-dimensional recycled texture art collages that portray well-known works of art. Each project was made entirely of recycled, reused and repurposed materials.

“The students make it easy as most people love the creativity and social responsibility represented in the process of reusing discarded materials,” said Dyer. “When preparing for the assignment each semester, I share many artists who also reuse materials to create or focus the content of their work on sustainability efforts.”

Kyle Franks re-created Andy Warhol’s “Marilyn.”

Richland Campus theater faculty emphasize the four Rs — reduce, reuse, recycle and rethink — in everything they do. Lighting in the performance hall and backstage was replaced with safer and more energy efficient LED technology, while costumes, sets and props are stored for repurposing and reuse.

On a larger scale, as Dallas College’s Leadership in Energy Efficient Design (LEED) silver-certified Construction Sciences building was nearing completion during February and March, a total of 413.39 tons of waste was diverted from the local landfill at a rate of 73.52%.

“I look forward to our participation in the Campus Race to Zero Waste each year, and we have already begun to plan for 2022,” said Morton. “However, our next big event will be our annual Sustainability Summit on Nov. 5, 2021.” Held annually in November, the theme for the 11th virtual summit will be “Social Responsibility: Cultivating Civic Engagement.”

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