Sixteen Bryn Mawr Students participating in the College’s Praxis Program spent their fall semester analyzing four separate areas of sustainability in Media Borough. They shared their presentations at the Dec. 8 meeting of the Environmental Advisory Council, providing detailed information on their subject areas.
- The Energy Saving Assessment by the students at Bryn Mawr College found that Media Borough’s energy savings projects since 2012 have saved resulted in a total of $267,800 in cost savings and a reduction in more than 990,000 pounds of CO2 emissions. The programs included installing motion sensors for Borough Hall lighting, transitioning to LED lighting at Borough Hall, switching the lighting in the garage to T-8 fluorescent lighting, switching streetlights to LED and switching providers from PECO to Constellation. Bravo to previous councils for being so proactive.
- One group of students focused on waste management and reviewed the composting program in the Borough, comparing it to a program in Freiburg, Germany, which they visited during the year. Media’s composting and recycling programs have resulted in a decrease in trash costs with an expected increase in weight of composting. Going forward, the students recommended Borough Council consider expanding composting, creating additional education programs and implementing dual stream collection of glass when available.
- A third group of students evaluated the Borough’s needs for electric vehicle charging stations. They recommended that the Borough launch a pilot program, installing several stations on side streets and parking lots as well at Borough Hall for public works and potentially the police department. The costs could possibly be absorbed by grants.
- The final student team discussed transitioning to a fleet of electric vehicles with Public Works Director Mike Green and Police Chief Matt Egan. Chief Egan has concerns about keeping the emergency vehicles charged when they are used for extended periods of time including idling. Director Green has similar concerns about power, especially extended outages during snowstorms. Also, there are, as yet, no EV alternatives for dump trucks and heavy duty vehicles. The Bryn Mawr team recommends adding the necessary charging stations and the gradual transition of vehicles as technology improves.
Once the students submit their final report and recommendations, the EAC will develop an action plan.