LiveGreen: EVS Appreciation Week

by Melanie Stewart, LiveGreen | September 10, 2019

Image with caption: Photo courtesy freeimages.com/dominikgwarek

Photo courtesy freeimages.com/dominikgwarek

It's Environmental Services (EVS) Appreciation Week, a special time of the year to honor and acknowledge the amazing EVS staff at UNMC and Nebraska Medicine. In a complex health care environment, we heavily depend on them, though they are often unrecognized.

EVS performs a lot of often thankless tasks: cleaning toilets, continually cleaning up the salt we track in each winter, even wayfinding. All those things we take for granted but definitely notice when they're not done. They also take out the trash -- all of it. Did you know that in the last year almost 8 million pounds of waste (equivalent to the weight of 24 blue whales, the largest animals on earth) has left this campus? All of that has been handled by the person who cleans your area.

Recycling is an important part of the med center's goals, and EVS is happy to help, even though it creates extra steps for them. I hope you understand the health, economic and pollution benefits of recycling; it's so much more than meeting a goal, and that makes this week the perfect time to thank EVS for the work they do.

Of that almost 8 million pounds of waste, we recycled 2.25 million pounds, equivalent to the weight of 885 Mini Cooper cars, hauled out of our spaces in four distinct streams (paper, plastic/metal, cardboard, trash). It gets better -- from 2010 to the present, we have recycled 11 million pounds, equivalent to the weight of 542 F-16 fighter jets.

At any opportunity, whether this week or next month, please take time to acknowledge and thank an EVS employee for their extraordinary contribution to our many successes. You also can ensure items are getting recycled while helping them to do their job by:

  • Pouring out all liquids before recycling (scrape food off, too).
  • Blue bins are only for paper -- not cardboard or bottles.
    • If you don't have a trash can in your office, trash and recyclables must be taken elsewhere. That decision was budgetary and was not made by your EVS person, so don't take it out on them.
  • Fiber clamshells are currently trash (and are not considered paper or cardboard) but will be composted soon.
  • Flatten all cardboard, and place it between the wall and the bin.
  • Don't wish-cycle; it's important to recycle right.
  • Say "Thank you" -- everyone wants to know their contribution is valued.

Speaking of "thank you," taking these easy steps to recycle everything you can is important. And send a shout-out to your favorite EVS worker below.

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Elaine Barns
September 12, 2019 at 4:09 PM

Shout out to Zonia (affectionally known as "Z" in bldg. 4230)! She always has a smile on her face even in the worst of messes!!

Jane Fleming
September 12, 2019 at 9:45 AM

Zonia, you are so much appreciated in the 4230 Building!

Lisa Muschall
September 10, 2019 at 5:54 PM

Martha, Michael and Brenda keep CON and CNS in tip-top shape. Thanks so much for all you do!

Jeanne Lincoln
September 10, 2019 at 11:29 AM

Thanks to Bubba and Carine for keeping Poynter Hall shining bright. We appreciate all you do!

Nicole Hackendahl
September 10, 2019 at 9:49 AM

Leah and Debra!!! For always sharing their smiles with us, no matter how challenging their workday was before we arrived.

Pearl Sorensen
September 10, 2019 at 8:59 AM

Thank you to all our MMI EVS workers!!

Patti Marsh
September 10, 2019 at 8:16 AM

Thanks Martha for all you do!! Much appreciated

John Keenan
September 09, 2019 at 4:41 PM

You rock, Zonia!