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The world’s largest name in software has been largely absent from the enterprise content management (ECM) game, but Microsoft presented a plan for ECM when it announced its Office 12 software in September. Now that analysts have had time to review and digest the strategy, they are starting to weigh in on what to expect.

Microsoft’s ECM offering is to be built largely on its SharePoint technology and integrates with Office applications. It will offer document management, document workflow, records management, and Web content management. Since it uses applications that many knowledge workers are already familiar with, it figures to be easy to use and administer. The new products required to run the solution will be available in 2006.

The irony in Microsoft’s role in the ECM landscape is that organizations of all sizes have struggled to manage the increasing amounts of digital content they have created over the last several years. Much of that content was likely created with Microsoft Office applications.

A recent Forrester report evaluated the top enterprise content management vendors according to 53 criteria. The report liked Microsoft’s vision, but noted that a vision is all there is for now. Microsoft has a long way to go to catch IBM or EMC/Documentum, which Forrester picked as the top ECM platform vendors; and Stellent, Forrester’s top pure-play vendor.

Michael Sampson of Shared Spaces Research & Consulting expects the costs of upgrading to Windows Vista and Office 12, as well as newer server technology, will keep all but the most loyal Microsoft shops from adopting Microsoft for their ECM needs in the near-term. There’s also the problem of Microsoft’s track record with new releases.

“Taking historical precedents into consideration says that Microsoft’s ECM platform will undergo a number of significant architectural twists-and-turns before being finally baked. Customers that buy in early will face expensive upgrades, migrations, and re-work of business-specific applications in order to keep in step with Microsoft’s revisions,” Sampson wrote in his report “Microsoft’s ECM Platform: Embrace, Tolerate, or Reject?”

In the end, Sampson recommends Microsoft enterprise content management for clients willing to make the necessary upgrades and who can wait two years. He expects the bugs will be out circa version 3. Sampson recommends that medium and large organizations having trouble with their current ECM offering and need help check out Documentum, Vignette, IBM, Open Text, Hummingbird, or Interwoven; and IBM’s Workplace or Oracle for smaller organizations.

It makes sense for Microsoft to enter the ECM game, according to Joe Wilcox, Microsoft analyst at JupiterResearch and author of the Microsoft Monitor blog, but he expects the offering to have very general functionality that will not work for people and enterprises with very specific needs.

“When making IT purchasing decisions, should IT managers be looking for software that does it all, or something that is specialized?” Wilcox said. “When one company tries to do everything well, it doesn’t do anything well.”

Wilcox said that in his first take, Microsoft is adding workflow capability to its products, but not necessarily to the process that customers have or need.

Smaller businesses, which are more likely to be complete Microsoft shops anyway, are in a better position to adopt Microsoft ECM because they have scale and fewer processes. Large organizations, those with 10,000 employees or more, have more heterogenous IT environments. They would have to invest in a lot of Microsoft technology and change their processes, making them unlikely to show interest, Wilcox said.

Adopting Microsoft’s ECM solution will not only require upgrading operating systems to Vista and Office suites to Office 12, but some combination of the latest versions of Windows Server 2003, BizTalk Server, Sharepoint Portal Server, and Exchange Server. There is a method to the upgrade madness if you’re Microsoft. Windows and Office are huge cash cows for Microsoft, and two-thirds of their revenue comes from the U.S. market. One of the ways to drive upgrades is through the cross-integration of various products.

Wilcox is also concerned that Microsoft stands to alienate its loyal group of development partners by developing solutions the partners already address (such as workflow, in the case of ECM). This could eventually drive those partners to develop for competing operating systems like Linux. But in the near-term, there is a bigger problem with getting customers to buy into the upgrades needed for Microsoft’s ECM plan.

“Most people that want Office and Windows have it,” Wilcox said, “and are satisfied with the version they have.”

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Bluetooth Is Greyed Out On Windows 11/10

Bluetooth has long been the standard for connecting wireless devices to computers, including mouse, keyboards, speakers, earphones, and other peripherals. Furthermore, the connectivity feature is used to transfer files between computers and other devices. However, some users have complained that Bluetooth is greyed out on their Windows 11/10.

This particular bug will render the Bluetooth connection ineffective on such a computer, resulting in the inability to connect to some wireless devices. If you’ve come here to read this article for that reason, we’ve got some solutions for you. This article will go over the reasons for Bluetooth being greyed out on a Windows PC, as well as the best techniques to fix it.

Why is Bluetooth greyed out in Windows?

The causes for the Bluetooth option being greyed out in some parts of your Windows computer can usually be broken down to two things: A problem with your PC’s bluetooth drivers or a general connectivity issue.

When the Bluetooth driver needs to be updated or you need to make some modifications to it, the computer may be unable to connect to any Bluetooth device until the solution(s) is/are performed. The same can be said for the second reason, however, to assist you, we’ve listed some of the best methods for resolving the problem in the next section of this article.

Fix Bluetooth is greyed out on Windows 11/10

If the Bluetooth option is greyed out on your Windows 11/10 computer, then follow these suggestions to resolve the issue:

Restart the computer and the router

Run Bluetooth Troubleshooter

Check Bluetooth Services

Update Bluetooth Adapter Drivers

Check-in Clean Boot State.

Before you begin, check for Windows Updates manually and install them if any are offered.

1] Restart the computer & the router

Users may view this approach as a cliche, but it remains one of the most effective ways of solving minor computer issues. So, if your Bluetooth on your PC is merely greyed out because of a little issue, restart the computer and see whether your Bluetooth works. You could also add the router to internet device.

This solution is recommended to be used first before moving on to other fixes because it is the easiest and does not involve any system tinkering. If that doesn’t work, go on to the other alternatives.

Related: Bluetooth Icon missing on Quick Settings panel in Windows 11

2] Run Bluetooth Troubleshooter

Another thing you could try out to fix this Bluetooth issue is to run a Bluetooth troubleshooter on the computer. Here is how it is done:

Windows 11

Press Windows + I keys to open Settings

Inder System settings, select Troubleshoot

Select Bluetooth and run the troubleshooter.

Windows 10

Press Windows + I keys to open Settings.

Select Update & Security.

Hit Run the Troubleshooter and follow the on-screen prompts if the troubleshooter finds any issue.

Related: Bluetooth icon not showing in Taskbar

3] Check Bluetooth Services

For Bluetooth to work, the following services have to be running properly, so check if they are set to their default Windows configurations as mentioned below:

Bluetooth Support Services – Manual Trigger Start

Bluetooth Audio Gateway Service – Manual Trigger Start

Bluetooth Driver Management Service – Automatic

Bluetooth Handsfree Service – Manual Trigger Start

Bluetooth – Automatic

Bluetooth Device Monitor – Manual Trigger Start

Bluetooth OBEX Service – Manual Trigger Start

Do note that you may see all these mentioned services on your system, so check the settings for only those that you see in your Service Manager.

Read: That didn’t work, Make sure your Bluetooth device is still discoverable, then try again.

4] Update Bluetooth Drivers

Updating Bluetooth drivers also helps in fixing lots of Bluetooth problems on Windows. Follow one of the methods below to update your Bluetooth drivers:

You may check for Driver Updates via Windows Update to update your drivers

You may visit the manufacturer’s site to download the drivers.

Use a free driver update software

If you have the INF driver file already on your computer then:

Open Device Manager.

Select Update Driver.

Follow the on-screen wizard to finish updating your audio drivers.

Make sure your network connection is on while doing this to make the operation successful.

Read: How to download Bluetooth driver for Windows 11/10

5] Check-in Clean Boot State

Perform Clean Boot and see if the problem still appears. If it does not then it means that some 3rd-party process is interfering and you need to manually troubleshoot further. Clean-boot troubleshooting is designed to isolate a performance problem. To perform clean-boot troubleshooting, you must take several actions, and then restart the computer after each action. You may need to manually disable one item after another to try and pinpoint the one that is causing the problem. Once you have identified the offender, you can consider removing or disabling it.

Related: Fix Bluetooth connection problems in Windows

Why can’t I turn on Bluetooth on my Windows 10?

Bluetooth may stop working on Windows systems for a variety of reasons. However, these causes can be reduced to a few: Bluetooth driver issues and minor computer issues. Usually, these issues can be resolved by updating Bluetooth drivers or using a Bluetooth troubleshooter. The previous section of the article has covered the details on how to perform this troubleshooting in detail. This post will help you if the toggle to turn Bluetooth On or Off is missing.

How do I fix Bluetooth in Device Manager is missing?

If Bluetooth is missing in your Device Manager, try these solutions:

Enable hidden devices in the Device Manager

Run Bluetooth Troubleshooter

Uninstall the latest Windows Update

Download Bluetooth Driver from the manufacturer’s website.

Hope the post helped you.

10 Tips On Getting The Most Out Of Github

GitHub is an online hosting service for mostly computer code with version control. Think about Github as a cloud-based development service for code and other similar types of files. Github boasts over 30 million users who are all sharing, developing and working together to build tomorrow’s software.

It hosts source code projects in different programming languages and keeps tracks of every iteration and every change. Also, everyone on your team can work together on the same projects from anywhere in the world. 

Table of Contents

GitHub is most helpful for projects with multiple collaborators. It also means that software and app development teams can use a centralized repository where users can upload, manage code and make synchronistic edits.

When using other cloud-based systems such as Dropbox, changes can override each other. The first one to save their work takes precedence over another team member who might be trying to make changes at the same time.

Despite the fact that GitHub is mainly used by engineers and programmers, it can just as easily be employed by those with less technical experience as a way of sharing and collaborating on any file type.

1. Tracking Your Coding Projects

The bedrock of GitHub’s platform is the capability it has to trace projects by employing the distributed version control system Git (a program that tracks developments and alterations made to files.)

Team members can view a complete overview of any given project. A progress bar will show active tasks, a list of to-dos, and what has been completed.

GitHub also allows users to track project boards from other organizations by entering the URL of a project into the note field. If you want to, you can turn the tracking off for any given project.

2. Using Keyboard Shortcuts

Most of us are familiar with the use of keyboard shortcuts as a means of performing multiple or repetitive tasks more quickly.

Almost every page on GitHub includes a list of shortcuts that can be used on that specific page. You can access the shortcut by typing “?” into a dialogue box.

3. Explore Other Projects

Most developer teams use GitHub to host and manage their own projects. However, it also helps to see how others are using the platform and to browse their projects. You might get some new insights, ideas and inspiration to use for your own projects.

Find out what is trending in the GitHub community, connect with other members, and search by labels or topics for more insights.

For a platform that is primarily about coding, Github is incredibly “people-friendly” and shines as a user and community-centric environment. Their emphasis on user-focused development is embedded in the culture of Github itself which holds a top twenty position among the world’s most employee-friendly workplaces.

4. More Than Just Coding

Many assume that GitHub is only useful for developers. However, it is also a resource for many other niches. Two of the main collaborative features of GitHub that are helpful to anyone are branching and forking.

Forking allows users to create a copy or clone of someone else’s work if they have access to it. The primary hyperlink to the source can be preserved while the developer tests the content, performs edits and revisions.

With the branching tool, users can create a temporary copy of a resource. This prevents different users working on the same content simultaneously from applying incompatible changes to the project.

Branching and forking are valuable tools for users working on synergetic projects. Below are several ways teams of any type, not just coders, can benefit:

Travel logs

Legal documents

Musical compositions

Data visualization for journalists

Blogging and content marketing

Recipe sharing

5. Create a Repository

A repository is a fancy way to describe the space where your project lives. Your options of where to store your data are:

Any online host

A folder on your computer

GitHub storage space

You can store any type of file in your repository including images, text, and code files. Getting underway with your first repository is not difficult. First, you will need to create your own GitHub account.

found in the top right-hand corner while logged in. Select “new repository”.

You will then see a screen that looks like this:

Take note that repositories are public by default. If you would rather that access was restricted and you don’t want everyone to view your progress, you can select only those you want to see your content. If you prefer to maintain some privacy, you will have to upgrade to a paid service..

6. Use READMEs Effectively

The purpose of a README file is to get users interested in your project. You can add your file while you begin to build a dedicated repository.

Those who use the WordPress platform are familiar with README files. Prior to installing plugins, your work team can read this file to get a clearer idea of what the plugin is likely to do and how best to use it.

Don’t make your file long and boring as it will more than likely turn users away rather than have them stay around to read more. Some suggested best practices for README files include:

Descriptive titles

Header images

External links to additional documentation

Short feature lists

Clear and concise summaries

7.    Follow Others

Interact with others on GitHub by following their profile. You will be able to monitor what others are working on from within the public repositories and will also receive notifications about their activity on your own personal dashboard on Github.

You will find a plethora of great ideas for your own development projects, you can collaborate with team members in your niche or work team and share your knowledge and expertise.

To follow someone in GitHub, you can search by

8.    Join the Conversation

One of the many benefits of open source platforms is the ability to collaborate, learn, share, and communicate with others.

There is no cost to use Github and explore its potential. The purpose of open source is to help make solutions better using contributions from the masses.

Learn or improve your skills or help others learn from your experience and expertise.

By meeting up with a community on GitHub, you will be able to follow the development of projects that interest you, make duplicates of those projects and experiment in your own private repository.

To find a community you are interested in joining, use the “explore” function to search for collections related to your field of interest.

9.    Showcase Your Best Work

If you are an active social media user, you understand the power of pinned posts. For example, if you pin a new post to your Twitter profile, it will stay at the top of your feed and be viewable by anyone viewing that profile.

Facebook pages have the same feature. By pinning posts to your social media profiles, you are making sure that your visitors will see your favorite post first rather than having to search through your entire feed.

GitHub also allows you to pin your favorite or most relevant repositories to your profile page. Users with a free account can pin up to six repositories that will remain on the top of their profile.

10.   Know Who to Blame

Yes, there is a button in GitHub called “blame”. It might not be a kind word, but it’s a useful feature. If you want to see who made a specific change in a file, play the blame game.

From the blame view of a file, you will be able to see the entire revision history line-by-line. Or you can examine the changes made or a version history of any line.

If something is broken or not working correctly, this function can help to identify which team members need to work together towards a solution.

If you are looking for a centralized, cloud-based platform where you can collaborate, share, store, test, and publish

Microsoft’s New Surface Laptop Se Is Shockingly Cheap At $249

Microsoft didn’t say when the Surface Laptop SE would ship. But it’s one of a small ecosystem of low-cost education hardware that will ship later this year and into 2023 and includes devices from Acer, Asus, Dell, Dynabook, Fujitsu, HP, JK-IP, Lenovo, and Positivo. After we published our story, Microsoft clarified that they’ll only be sold via education channels.

Windows 11 SE is yet another attempt by Microsoft to oust Chromebooks from their place in the American classroom, most typically elementary and middle schools covering kindergarten through eighth grade. The key difference between Windows 11 SE and similar editions such as Windows 11 Home in S Mode is that Windows 11 SE allows some third-party applications to be sideloaded onto laptops like the Surface Laptop SE. Learn more about the OS in our article on Windows 11 SE.

Microsoft’s Surface Laptop SE.


From a specifications standpoint, the Surface Laptop SE clamshell PC appears to be a slimmed-down version of the Surface Laptop Go, the 2023 $549 laptop Microsoft debuted to offer more at the low end of its price portfolio. The most noteworthy aspect of the 12.45-inch Surface Laptop Go was its 1536×1024 (148 ppi) screen, which contained slightly fewer pixels than a 1080p display. The Surface Laptop SE uses even fewer, however, with an 11.6-inch 1366×768 (135 ppi) display that mimics the displays of some low-end Chromebooks, and moves away from the 3:2 display ratio that many Surfaces feature.

Microsoft Surface Laptop Go

Read our review

Best Prices Today:

Microsoft also chose from two Chromebook-like processors, too: an Intel Celeron N4020 or N4120, both members of the “Gemini Lake Refresh” era of processors that Intel launched in 2023. We last saw these in laptops from companies like Dell, HP, Lenovo, and Huawei last year when Microsoft launched its latest versions of Always Connected PCs.

Microsoft’s Surface Laptop SE, as seen in a classroom setting.


Performance isn’t really the issue, though. The goals of the Microsoft Surface Laptop SE are to be simple, manageable, and to accommodate both distance and in-person learning. For the former, Microsoft added a 1-megapixel (720p video) user-facing camera to the Surface Laptop SE. That’s a far cry from the 1080p cameras on most Surface Pro tablets, but certainly cheaper, too. Unfortunately, Windows Hello has been left out, too, as biometric security has been replaced with a lock slot.

Incidentally, Microsoft representatives say that the Laptop SE’s keyboard is neither waterproof nor spillproof.

Interestingly, the Surface Laptop SE is perhaps the first Surface we’ve seen not to support the Surface Connector. Microsoft hasn’t included a Thunderbolt port, either. Instead, the Surface Laptop SE uses a more traditional barrel connector.

Can the Surface Laptop SE be the Chromebook killer Microsoft hopes it will be? Over time, it will probably be less about the hardware and more about whether schools continue to use Google’s products or adopt Microsoft’s Windows ecosystem. Either way, consumers will have more low-priced computing hardware from which to choose.

Surface Laptop SE basic features:

Processor: Intel Celeron N4020/N4120

Display: 11.6-inch TFT LCD (1366×768)

Memory: 4GB/8GB DDR4

Storage: 64GB/128GB eMMC

Graphics: UHD Graphics 600

Ports: USB-A, USB-C, 3.5mm mic jack, barrel connector

Security: Nano Security lock slot

Camera: 1Mpixel (720p video), user-facing

Battery:  “Up to 16 hours of typical device usage”; 50 percent charging in less than an hour; 80 percent charging in less than 90 minutes

Wireless: 802.11ac 2×2 Bluetooth 5.0 LE

Operating system: Windows 11 SE

Dimensions: 11.17 x7.6 x 0.70in.

Weight: 2.45lb

Color: Glacier

Prices: $249 and up

This story was updated at 10:52 AM to note that Microsoft representatives said that the Surface Laptop SE will only ship via education channels.

Apple Music Voice Plan: Is It Worth Your $5/Month?

Were you waiting for an economical Apple Music plan? Well, Apple has finally listened and unleashed Apple Music Voice Plan. The special voice-only plan will cost just $4.99/month and allow access to all Apple Music content. However, there’s a catch, or shall I say a “Siri clause.”

Wait, what? Check out everything you need to know about the Apple Music Voice Plan and whether it’s worth the price tag or not.

What is the Voice plan for Apple Music?

During Apple’s 2023 fall event, Unleashed, Apple introduced a new subscription tier for Apple Music. Dubbed as Voice Plan, it will harness the power of Siri and operate only with voice. That’s right, only with voice.

While the $4.99 price excites my heart, ear, and wallet, the voice-only clause is somewhat a curveball. So, I have decided to dig a bit deep, weigh all the perks and flaws, and discover the worthiness of this plan.

What does Apple’s Voice plan offer?

A lot! Users can subscribe by simply instructing the voice assistant, “Hey Siri, start my Apple Music Voice trial,” or via the Apple music app. After the subscription, you can ask Siri to play your favorite song, playlist, radio, and more. Here’s everything up for grab in the plan:

Over 90 million songs – Oh la la!

Apple Music’s global catalog will be at your fingertips, from the latest releases to old classics. Subscribers will have full playback controls. So you can play, pause, skip songs unlimited times, however, only through Siri.

Playlists, genre stations, and radio

With the Voice plan, you’ll also have access to endless playlists curated by Apple experts, all genre stations, and Apple Music Radio. Moreover, complete access to Apple’s latest mood and activity playlists.

Simply ask Siri to play some party music, calming or focus-oriented music, etc. You can even ask Siri to play similar songs, and it will do that.

Source: Apple

Support across devices

As long as it’s a Siri-enabled device, subscribers can get unhindered access to Apple Music, whether iPhone, iPad, Mac, Apple Watch, AirPods, CarPlay, Apple TV, or HomePod mini.


Voice plan also promises a truly personalized music experience. Subscribers can explore suggestions based on recently played music and preferences in the Music app. Additionally, a dedicated “Just Ask Siri” section will help them explore and optimize Siri for Apple Music.

What you don’t get in the Voice plan?

Unfortunately, this list is not as small I would have hoped. You’ll be missing:

Spatial Audio and Lossless Audio


Music Videos

These premium features are limited to the individual plan for $9.99 per month or the family plan for $14.99 per month.

Source: Apple

I understand that Apple wants to temp users to have a more expensive plan, and thus, reserving spatial and lossless makes sense. But even stopping lyrics is a bit much, Spotify offers it for free.

When and where will the Apple Music Voice plan be available?

Scheduled to launch later this fall, the new subscription plan will initially be available to 17 countries/regions. Check out the complete list below.

Source: Apple

Should you purchase the voice-only plan?


Access to Apple Music’s library, including playlists

Supports all Apple devices and Siri

Unlimited skips

7-day free preview


Controlled by voice

Lyrics are blocked

Ironically Apple Music Voice Plan’s strength is also its weakness. While it’s great that you can access Apple Music through Siri, but just through Siri can get a bit typical. What if you are commuting? You’ll be sharing which song you want next with Siri as well as fellow passengers.

On the flip side, you are getting access to the entire Apple Music library at just $4.99, which is a bargain. As of now, I feel that the Apple Music Voice plan is a bit odd. And you might have to take Apple on the 7-day preview and see if you can get accustomed to the voice-only platform.

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A self-professed Geek who loves to explore all things Apple. I thoroughly enjoy discovering new hacks, troubleshooting issues, and finding and reviewing the best products and apps currently available. My expertise also includes curating opinionated and honest editorials. If not this, you might find me surfing the web or listening to audiobooks.

A Bold New Plan To Reduce The University’s Waste

A Bold New Plan to Reduce the University’s Waste

New waste bins in student residences are part of the Zero Waste Plan. Photo by Kaity Robbins

University News

A Bold New Plan to Reduce the University’s Waste Task force recommendations aim at mitigating climate change and building a more equitable society

By the end of this decade, life for BU students, staff, and faculty will have changed in many small ways, from how they buy furniture to the way they throw out candy wrappers. Those small changes, all part of BU’s new Zero Waste Plan, will add up to one enormous difference in the impact that the University has on the environment and on human health. 

The plan, which was presented Wednesday at the Spring 2023 Management Town Hall Meeting by Dennis Carlberg, associate vice president for sustainability, is the product of more than four months of analysis and discussion by a 54-person task force, led by Carlberg and Paul Riel, associate vice president for auxiliary services, and including representatives from Campus Planning & Operations, Auxiliary Services, Sourcing & Procurement, Information Services & Technology, Environmental Health & Safety, Events & Conferences, and Sustainability, as well as faculty and students. It calls on the BU community to 1) reimagine the very notion of waste, and 2) to eliminate wasteful practices throughout the life cycle of materials—meaning from purchase to discard.

The plan’s measurable goal is as ambitious as its scope: it hopes to enable BU to attain an industry metric known as Zero Waste by 2030. And while Zero Waste is not quite as challenging as it sounds—it requires diverting at least 90 percent of an organization’s nonhazardous waste from the traditional routes like landfill or incineration to some form of reuse or recycling—Carlberg acknowledges that it’s a challenging target.

“Zero Waste will not be easy to reach,” he says. “But Zero Waste is definitely attainable. For BU, getting there starts with prioritizing strategies. We have to think about how all of our processes can be more efficient, and then we have to redesign them accordingly.”

In fact, the University has been redesigning its processes for several years, and the result is impressive. In 2006, the diversion rate of BU’s nonhazardous waste was a paltry 3 percent. By 2023, it had climbed to 42 percent, meaning that almost half of BU’s waste was not contributing to the generation of greenhouse gases, such as methane (from landfills) or CO2 (from incinerators). And during that same period, the University reduced its overall generation of waste materials by 8 percent, from 10,961 tons to 10,041 tons, excluding construction waste.

In 2006, the diversion rate for BU’s nonhazardous waste was 3 percent.  By 2023, it had climbed to 42 percent. Courtesy of Zero Waste Task Force

“That’s very good progress,” says Carlberg. “We should all be proud of that, but we know that we can do better. To accelerate the speed of our progress in the next 10 years, we need the entire BU community to participate in transforming the system by taking action to reduce their individual impact and participating in the operational changes that are underway.”

Much of that redesigning is described in Zero Waste protocols that have been developed by the Zero Waste International Alliance, Zero Waste USA, Green Business Certification Inc., and Global Alliance for Incinerator Alternatives over the past two decades and have been put into practice at many corporations, among them General Motors, Walmart, and Sierra Nevada, as well as municipalities, including Boston, which adopted a Zero Waste plan two years ago.

The University’s plan, which includes many of the standardized practices, was first envisioned three years ago as part of BU’s 2023 comprehensive Climate Action Plan, with a goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions. BU’s waste stream contributes 8 to 10 percent of the University’s greenhouse gases, so reducing the volume of waste will help reduce BU’s contribution to climate change. Similarly, reusing materials should eliminate harmful emissions associated with the manufacturing processes for new materials. “Recycling an aluminum can,” Carlberg points out, “requires much less energy than mining and smelting the ore.”

Like neighborhood swap websites

The Zero Waste Task Force met regularly to develop recommendations during fall 2023 and completed the final draft of their plan last March. They were preparing to present the plan to University leadership when COVID-19 brought everything to a halt.

“We are now reengaging everyone and moving toward implementation of the initiatives they developed,” says Kaity Robbins, BU Sustainability Zero Waste manager and a leader of the task force. “This is a very exciting time.”

Operationally, Robbins says, the task force has recommended dozens of changes and wrapped them up in 21 key initiatives. “We are incorporating Zero Waste guidelines into the way we approach building new spaces and renovating existing spaces,” she says. “We’re moving toward remanufactured furniture instead of buying new. There are also going to be some very visible changes across campus in terms of our collection infrastructure, like the waste bins in buildings.”

Finding ways to cut waste out of the University’s supply chain is an important first step. Robbins says Sourcing & Procurement will work with suppliers to help meet recommended sustainability standards. To help reduce BU’s carbon footprint, for example, vendors will be asked to minimize the number of times their delivery trucks visit campus. And to reduce the energy and resources invested in equipment and furnishings, faculty and staff will be encouraged to consult a community-wide surplus exchange not unlike neighborhood swap websites. To be sure that waste reduction is fully integrated into life at BU, the plan recommends spelling out expectations of employees’ commitment to Zero Waste in job descriptions and documenting supporting actions in performance evaluations.

Carlberg’s confidence in the plan stems largely from the depth of institutional knowledge that stakeholders brought to the table. “We had people on the task force from many different departments across BU,” he says, “and we also had excellent leadership from the top, particularly from President Brown. All of us worked together and developed this from the bottom up. It was shaped by people who really understand how the University works.”

While he acknowledges that the 2030 goal of 90 percent diversion will be challenging, Carlberg believes the plan’s recommended actions can divert an additional 2,800 tons per year from landfills and incinerators, enough to increase the University’s diversion rate from its current 42 percent to 70 percent. And when new efforts to minimize waste from construction debris are factored in, the potential diversion rate will jump to 84 percent.

The Zero Waste Plan will also save money. “Waste is an indicator of inefficiency,” Carlberg says. “Boston University now spends over $1.5 million on waste disposal each year, and while many of our Zero Waste initiatives will come at a cost, they will have significant triple bottom line benefits. They will reduce costs through avoided collection and disposal fees, and that savings can be used to offset the cost of other measures that may not have a financial payback.”

And yes, Liss says, BU’s goals are achievable. Definitely.

The Zero Waste Task Force asks the BU community to read the Zero Waste Plan and think about how you can help implement it in your department and/or daily life. Feedback can be provided in the Comment section below or via email to [email protected] through April 5.

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