Tiara Arnold was nominated by Business & Auxiliary Services for the 2020 Individual Sustainability award for her commitment to sustainability and service in her job. Tiara has worked for Pitt as a housekeeper on the Housing team since April 2019.
During her short time on the team Tiara has made a positive impact on the Schenley Quad housekeeping team with her positive spirit, sense of humor, and commitment to serving campus and the community. As a team member who covers Amos Hall, Tiara was one of the first on the housekeeping team to deal with new waste diversion streams like coffee grounds composting. As the program blossomed at the Amos Hall Starbucks, Tiara considered what else from the Starbucks could be diverted from landfill. One Sunday night while taking out the landfill waste she peeked into a trash bag and noticed that dozens of sandwiches, fruit cups, and pastries were being thrown out.
The next morning, she approached the Starbucks manager and discussed the food waste with him. He was equally concerned but explained the trouble he’s had finding someone to recover the food. Tiara then approached Nick Goodfellow and Housekeeping Coordinator Michelle Smith to discuss the situation, explaining how uncomfortable she was throwing out edible food while community members on and off-campus are facing food insecurity. They explained how food recovery worked and together discussed options for her to support the campus effort.
The next Sunday she began recovering the surplus food on Sunday nights from the Amos Hall Starbucks. Since she began recovering food in November 2019 Tiara has recovered over 800 lbs of food which she delivers to Food Recovery Heroes coolers on campus for redistribution to hunger-fighting agencies in the region.
Tiara’s efforts demonstrate a commitment to serving the campus and community that extends beyond her typical work duties and sets an example for how front-line staff can engage in service and sustainability in their jobs. The effort demonstrates her understanding of the shared impact we have on our communities and the responsibility to be stewards of our neighbors. Business and Auxiliaries is thankful for Tiara’s drive and instinct to do the right thing.
Tiara Arnold is a 2020 Pitt Sustainability Awards Winner (Staff)