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April 29, 2013
Baylor's sustainability efforts are seeing a remarkable response from the campus community, particularly with the water bottle refill stations.
Last summer Baylor installed two refills station on campus, one on the garden level of Moody Library and the other in the Bill Daniel Student Center. Almost a year later, the stations, which replaced traditional water fountains, have been used more than 22,000 times.
"It was an explosion in use," said Smith Getterman, sustainability coordinator. "Even within the first few months we saw about 5,000 uses, and that was still in the summer before the students were back on campus."
Getterman became interested in the refill stations after he saw them at a conference. He had seen more and more students carrying reusable, 32 ounce. bottles on campus. Ultimately, he said, it was the student feedback - an emailed suggestion from an undergraduate student - that made him recognize the need for the stations on campus.
"We are focused on meeting student needs. The water bottle refill stations reduce student dependence on plastic bottles and decrease the amount of waste Baylor produces as a campus," Getterman said. "Baylor, as a Christian community, has a responsibility to recognize the gifts that God has given us. Among those gifts are our resources, and it is important that we are good stewards of those resources."
The locations for the two stations were chosen based on high traffic in the areas. Getterman expects to add additional stations in other areas of campus, such as Rena Marrs McLean Gym and the McLane Student Life Center.
"We are working to improve every facet of the Baylor sustainability program," Getterman said.
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