By Levi Spring, Staff Writer –
As a matter of fact, it was the first community college in West Michigan to have a
gymnasium lit entirely by LED bulbs. These bulbs efficiently use energy at one-quarter the rate
of traditional light bulbs.
In addition, the parking lots on the main campus as well as some offices have also been
transitioned to energy-saving LED lighting methods.
“The greatest challenge in our recycling program is having students, staff, guests, and
employees actually participate in recycling,” said Stanley Dean, custodial services supervisor of
the physical plant. “It’s an age-old challenge.”
He also listed several other significant energy-saving efforts on campus:
Five quad bins across campus to collect paper, glass, tin, metal, cardboard and plastics.
Multiple blue waste watcher bins located across campus, which collect metal, glass,
plastic and cans.
Each office has small blue recycling baskets.
All classrooms have a paper recycling box.
Eight 5-gallon document collection bins on campus, used for shredding of secure
Students and employees have become quite used to seeing and using the bins and
However, MCC is also focused on planning and researching more innovative and
The last building project to be funded and completed two years ago was an addition to the
science wing. It used closely followed guidelines set by the Michigan Energy Code and the U.S.
Green Building Council’s program called (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design
“LEED certified buildings save money and resources and have a positive impact on the
health of occupants, while promoting renewable, clean energy,” noted on a brochure about the
science project by the U.S. Green Building Council.
MCC has established clear vision for striving to make a positive impact on its carbon
imprint and power reliability.
“We are currently at the inroads of sustainability and energy use,” said Gerald Nyland,
director of the MCC physical plant. “What we do here goes way beyond the perimeters of the
Michigan Energy Code and LEED.”
Nyland also highlighted a new engineering study currently being conducted on MCC’s
campus. This case study is being pursued by MCC administrators, who hope to develop a new
cogeneration plant, otherwise called combined heat and power (CHP). Small CHP or micro
cogeneration plants are an example of independent and decentralized
energy, Nyland explained.
“A project and mission for cogeneration is cutting-edge for a college this size,” he said.
“The potential is huge.”
A CHP plant of this type built for MCC would be the first of its kind in West Michigan.