The Institute - March 2020 - TI-15
glass and paper were being commingled.
When waste is not recycled properly,
more of it ends up in landfills.
The FEG-Sustentável project worked
with the university's campus services and
civil engineering departments to build the
recycling center. It has separate areas for
paper, glass, and plastics.
In addition, the team set up a drop-off
area for outdated printers, cellphones, and
computers. "These donated electronics
can be picked up by underprivileged families to sell-which gives them an additional
source of income," Martins de Moraes says.
The photovoltaic energy
generation system [top]
reservoirs are collecting
water for irrigation and
The streetlights that illuminate the
campus at night were modernized. The
revamped lights are more efficient and
make the campus safer by providing a
greater source of illumination.
"I surveyed the campus to see where
most of the energy was being expended
and found the streetlamps were the biggest culprit," Martins de Moraes says.
The old streetlights, which used 250-watt
sodium-vapor bulbs, were responsible
for about 42 percent of the university's
monthly electric bills, he says.
Sodium-vapor bulbs need to be replaced
about every two years, and the cost to
replace aging or expired components
such as reactors, capacitors, and ignitors is expensive. Another concern was
the small amount of mercury the bulbs
Conserving water is another goal the
team has addressed. In partnership with
the university's civil engineering academic center, FEG-Sustentável developed a prototype reservoir that can collect
4,000 liters of rainwater. The team plans
to use the water to irrigate the university's garden and clean the campus grounds.
Ultimately, Martins de Moraes would like
rainwater to be the school's main drinkingwater source, but first it has to pass Brazil's
The team has decreased water consumption by installing automatic-shutoff taps in
bathrooms and lubricating water-fountain
push buttons so they are less likely to get
stuck in the open position. And there
are plans to replace the campus water
fountains with ones that feature efficient
Martins de Moraes is spreading the
word about sustainability.
"I have visited five other local universities to share the work we're doing,"
he says. "My goal is to help implement the FEG-Sustentável project at
other schools throughout the world."
contain-which presents a disposal problem
because they can cause health problems
if they break. On top of that, because of
their low color rendering index, the bulbs
made it difficult for students to see at night.
Martins de Moraes and his team replaced
154 lamps with LED bulbs, which offer
a longer life span, better light distribution, and lower maintenance costs. The
LEDs also draw less power than traditional lighting.
As a result of the solar energy center and
the energy-efficiency plan, the university
has been able to save more than $50,000
thus far while reducing the amount of CO2 -JEREMIAH DANIELS
released into the atmosphere.
Jeremiah Daniels is a former intern for
Another issue the team tackled was waste
disposal. Recyclable materials including
This article originally appeared online as
"Students Tackle Sustainability at Brazil's São
Paulo State University."
THE INSTITUTE | MAR 2020 | TI-15
The Institute - March 2020
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