Overall Rating Gold - expired
Overall Score 68.77
Liaison Marianne Martin
Submission Date Nov. 9, 2010
Executive Letter Download

STARS v1.0

University of Colorado Boulder
Tier2-4: Snow and Ice Removal

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 0.25 / 0.25 Edward von Bleichert
Environmental Operations Manager/Campus IPM Coordinator
Facilities Managment
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Has the institution implemented technologies or strategies to reduce the environmental impacts of snow and ice removal?:
Yes

A brief description of the snow and ice removal program, policy, or practice:


Background
The University of Colorado at Boulder (UCB) campus manages snow and ice removal through a campus Snow Committee. The committee consists of members of all the departments responsible for snow and ice abatement from campus sidewalks, building entries, streets, parking lots, and parking structures. The three main entities responsible for the physical removal of snow and ice on the UCB campus are: 1. Facilities Management; 2. Housing and Dining Services; and 3. Parking and Transit Services. The Snow Committee meets monthly during the season and at least twice in the off season.
Various approaches are in place for removing snow and ice as effectively as possible. This includes hand shoveling, traditional plowing, snow brushes, and the use of several chemical products. The use of snow and ice abatement products includes liquid Magnesium Chloride, granular salt/Calcium Chloride mixes, and on a limited basis, a sand/salt mix.
The number one environmental concern related to program is air quality. Additional concerns include plant damage and water quality. For all these reason, the campus uses various chemical products designed to be as effective as possible while reducing any environmental impacts. One way this is achieved is by using different products based on current conditions of a particular snow event. Temperature is the most important factor. If temperatures are not too low, campus is able to use products with lower concentrations of active ingredient.
The continued use of a sand/salt mix, although limited, is primarily a cost consideration as some alternative ice melt product can cost up to 2.5 times as much.
Regardless of which product is used, the committee continues to look at ways to reduce the amount of material applied. Obviously, the majority of the use is dictated by weather conditions. The winter of 09/10 was the 2nd worst/best snow in 50 years. Weather like this makes it challenging to set a numeric target for reduction.
One of the biggest impacts we can have on product usage is through the annual Winter Injury Prevention Program. As part of this program, a detailed snow and ice removal training is given to all our (custodial) staff responsible for snow and ice abatement from building entries and ADA access points. The training focuses on safety and proper use of ice abatement chemicals.

Other Current Efforts
• Exploring additional / alternative chemical products such as sugar beet-based products
• Continuing to refine and better define departmental responsibilities through the use of GIS mapping systems.
• Key staff pursuing Snow and Ice Management Association (SIMA) certification
o http://www.sima.org/index.cfm
A Certified Snow Professional is...
• A leader in the snow plowing industry
• Passionate about his/her work
• Environmentally responsible
• Eager to learn and grow
• Creative in exploring and reaching successful solutions
• Informed, knowledgeable, and an effective communicator of the industry's values and principles
• An educator expanding the horizons of co-workers, customers, and community
Currently, the campus has a good structure in place for addressing goals and challenges of snow and ice removal in the form of the Snow Committee. This will be the lead group as we move ahead with additional sustainability goals for the program.

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The website URL where information about the program, policy, or practice is available:
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