Here's a sampling of the ways MCCC is engaged in sustainable facilities, from recycling to energy conservation to solar power and more. Our official college color may be cardinal, but we sure do like to be green!
Each year, Monroe County Community College diverts nearly half a million pounds of waste from landfills through its recycling program.
In addition to paper, paperboard, newspapers, magazines, junk mail, plastic bottles, metal cans, glass bottles and jars, plastic bags and cardboard boxes, the college also recycles hazardous waste created by maintenance projects, such as paint, oil, fluorescent light bulbs, aerosol cans and batteries.
MCCC recently switched most of its buildings over from an outdated, conventional heating, ventilation and air conditioning system to a much more energy-efficient and earth-friendly geothermal-based system. It was the culmination of a 2-year, $16.1 million project financed by the college over 20 years that has completely transformed the way it heats and cools the campus, while providing major cost and environmental benefits. The system is expected to result in savings of at least $275,000 per year, but this figure will most likely be much higher. The geothermal wells are expected to last 50 years – twice the life of a conventional system.
In addition, MCCC installed an automated HVAC control system that controls not only the geothermal-based system, but also the other conventional campus systems. This was installed at both the Main Campus and Whitman Center in Temperance and offers a user-friendly interface, web-based access, remote monitoring, and automated alarms and alerts.
January-April 2018 Energy Savings for All Buildings:
- 12,737,207 total kBtu saved (electric and gas combined)
- Equivalent of 799.5 metric tons of carbon dioxide
- Carbon footprint equivalents
- 171 passenger vehicles driven for one year
- 942 acres of U.S forests saved in one year
- 86 homes energy use for one year
MCCC’s Geothermal System by the Numbers
- $16.1 million: The cost of the project, which was financed by MCCC over 20 years.
- 50: The lifespan on the system’s well field. This is double the lifespan of a conventional system.
- 5: The number of Main Campus buildings served by the new system.
- 288: The number of wells that supply the system’s distribution loop.
- 350-400: The approximate depth in feet of each of the wells.
- 10,000: Gallons of water that were pumped in from the college’s connection to the city water system to supply the system (a “closed-loop” that does not use groundwater).
- 160,000: Guaranteed reduction in kilowatt hours of energy used annually by MCCC.
- $5.5 million: Guaranteed savings by MCCC in electricity, gas and water costs over 20 years. This figure will likely be much higher.
- $275,000: Average guaranteed savings per year by MCCC in electricity, gas and water. This figure will likely be much higher.
- Based on the Environmental Protection Agency’s Greenhouse Gas Equivalencies Calculator, the annual green benefit from the geothermal system each year is equal to:
- 2.6 million road miles driven by an average passenger vehicle
- 120,176 gallons of gasoline consumed
- 1.14 million pounds of coal burned
- 113 homes’ energy use for one year
- 27,678 tree seedlings grown
- 1,011 acres of U.S. forests
Monroe County Community College offers two electric vehicle charging stations on its Main Campus. They are located in front of the La-Z-Boy Center, right off the main entrance to campus.
According to the EPA, choosing less hazardous products that have positive environmental attributes (e.g., biodegradability, low toxicity, low volatile organic compound (VOC) content, reduced packaging, low life cycle energy use), and taking steps to reduce exposure can minimize harmful impacts to custodial workers and building occupants, improve indoor air quality, and reduce water and ambient air pollution while also ensuring the effectiveness of cleaning in removing biological and other contaminants.
MCCC uses green custodial products such as Green Seal-Certified tissue and towels made with 100-percent recycled fiber, foam hand soap and super concentrated cleaning chemicals.
MCCC is home to a 500-kilowatt, DTE Energy-owned photovoltaic system on the extreme eastern side of the campus that covers three acres and connects directly to the Detroit Edison grid. An interactive informational kiosk that provides real time data on the system’s output and is housed in MCCC’s Career Technology Center. The solar array is also used as a demonstration for alternative energy instruction at the college, providing an opportunity for students to observe a working photovoltaic system generates an equivalent amount of power that would be consumed by about 100 homes in a year.