Santa Ana College is helping students reduce waste while staying hydrated, with the installation of 24 water bottle refill stations on campus. Paid for as a part of the district’s efforts to reduce plastic waste, stations were added to all buildings except for Russell Hall, which is scheduled to be demolished next year.
The RSCCD Sustainability Plan took measures in 2016 in response to the ongoing drought and high amount of waste throughout the district.
One of the first efforts was the installation of four new refill stations in 2016. The campus has since added 20 stations in multiple buildings around the SAC campus, with 12 of the additions being installed during summer 2023.
“A part of this project was the repair or replacement of drinking fountains, new plumbing, electrical, painting, and plaster/drywall patching,” explains SAC Facilities Director Joe Melendez in an email.
Officials said overall the program has been a success, as students rely less on plastic disposable water bottles. Plastic waste dropped 32 tons between the 2019 and 2020 calendar year, the most recent years with data.
According to the District, water consumption hit a record low last year, reaching 38% under the baseline of 80 million gallons.
The RSCCD Sustainability Committee is also targeting electricity and gas consumption around campus.
With the district’s 2025 updated plan they are continuing to focus on reducing the waste of plastic on campus as well as water waste.
“The Sustainability Committee is carrying out these programs and continuing to make SAC a greener campus,” says Melendez.