Smart and Sustainable Challenge: Pick It Up!

The Smart and Sustainable Challenge is presented by UK Smart Campus, UK Sustainability and UK Student Government Association (SGA), with support from UK Grounds, UK Recycling, and UK Facilities Information Services.

The presenting partners are excited to combine the University’s Smart Campus initiatives with our sustainability targets in an engaging way for students.

“We hope that this is the first in a series of partnerships with Smart Campus and Student Government,” said Shane Tedder, Campus Sustainability Officer. “Our vision for this effort is to identify a sustainability-related challenge that students can help tackle using the tools and recourses provided by UK Smart Campus, in this case the iPads issued to new students when they arrive on campus.”

“Smart Campus is excited to partner with UK Sustainability and Student Government Association to create a positive impact on our campus community through this sustainable challenge.”

Smart Campus

For the first challenge, partners chose to look for an innovative way to address the issue of litter on campus. Litter poses two significant problems: It detracts from the aesthetics of UK’s campus, potentially impacting student recruiting and it creates water quality issues for the watersheds in our community and region. It is unsightly and can have a negative impact on the way we experience our campus. Litter also creates environmental challenges such as negative impacts for water quality and habitats when it is washed into our creeks, streams, and rivers.

Litter is potentially being generated at an almost infinite number of locations 24/7, 365 days a year. Campus Grounds does an amazing job of collecting litter on campus, but due to the 24/7, non-stop sources that create litter; this campus-wide effort provides important and meaningful support for their work.

 “This initiative presents a new way to look at litter for all UK students; we are excited to see how, through technology, we can inspire everyone to look after their campus.”

Caity Weaver, SGA Sustainability Coordinator

“SGA is excited to get involved in making our campus cleaner and greener through the Smart and Sustainable Campus Challenge! We are excited to see how our iPads can help address litter and improve our community. Your contribution is valuable, join us in making a positive impact!”

Taylor Griffin, SGA Sustainability Coordinator

Here’s How it Works:

The presenting partners worked with Facilities Information Services to develop a web-based platform to allow students, faculty, and staff to quickly and easily report the amount of litter collected. The platform tracks the total number of pieces of litter submitted which will ultimately answer the question: How many pieces of litter can we pick up by Earthday 2024?

UK Smart Campus group will “push” the web-based platform to all UK issued iPads to encourage student participation. Anyone without a UK iPad, can participate by visiting the challenge platform Pick-It-Up!

To encourage participation, prizes will be awarded at random and to the individuals with the highest amount of collected litter.

There are a few important safety tips participants should keep in mind;

  • Do not pick up litter you are uncomfortable with
  • Always wash your hands after picking up litter
  • If you notice litter that needs to be picked up by a professional (i.e. needles, broken glass, large items, etc.) please use the report button in the app

Let’s work together to accomplish this smart and sustainable challenge goal!

Katherine Johnson

Most discussed