Campus Life: Recycling

The University supports the campus-wide bottle, aluminum can, paper and cardboard recycling in residence halls, dining facilities, classrooms and offices. In addition, paper recycling efforts have increased by enlisting more students and faculty to better utilize recycling bins already distributed campus-wide.

The Campus Life Working Group supports eliminating waste streams on campus—with the ultimate goal of a net zero waste campus—through the implementation of “cradle to cradle” processes and practices. It is recommended that an early objective be the reduction and, ultimately, elimination of the paper flow on campus. For example, convert all communications to electronic format. It is vital to educate and encourage the campus community to rethink how they live and work.

There will be continued support for the campus-wide recycling of plastics; aluminum and metal cans; and paper and cardboard. The goal is to maintain the University’s capacity to divert recyclable materials from landfill waste generated by dining facilities, residence halls, cafeterias and offices through public awareness campaigns and expanded operations. In addition, continue to increase paper recycling efforts by enlisting more students and faculty to increase their use of recycling bins already distributed campus-wide. A recycling chart can be distributed electronically to students, faculty and staff. It will also be included in the Green Guide for students. A simplified version could also be posted at recycling locations around campus, as appropriate.

Short-Term Goals (1 year)

  • Design a survey to identify waste on campus to determine ways to improve recycling on campus.
  • Collect and analyze data about existing campus conservation and recycling efforts.
  • Create action plan based on determined needs.
  • Design a marketing campaign to educate students, faculty, staff and the community.
  • Students will be encouraged to participate in environmental events such as Recycle Mania, Earth Week, and recycling contests among residence halls which use friendly competition to encourage positive awareness of recycling habits and waste prevention methods.
  • Reduce waste by 5-10 percent (taking campus growth into account).
  • Intermediate Goals (1-5 years)
  • Enhance and further develop the university-wide Recycling Plan.
  • Conduct a study of solid waste cogeneration to determine feasibility.
  • Implement a plan to convert organic waste to compost.
  • Within three years, the University should have a system in place for conducting campus-wide waste audits, with ongoing measurement and verification capability.

Long Term Goals (5-10 and 10-20+ years)

  • Establish a secure funding source to provide for ongoing environmental activities.
  • Campus Green Awards to recognize student organizations/departments with exemplary recycling and conservation programs, and establishing outreach programs to local K-12 schools.

Long-Term Waste Reduction/Recycling Goals

  • Goal 1: (5-10 years) 50 percent reduction in total weight (per capita) of campus waste
  • Goal 2: (5-10 years) Identify and remove or reduce the most environmentally problematic waste leaving campus
  • Goal 3: (10-15 years) 80 percent reduction in total weight (per capita) of campus waste
  • Goal 4: (20-25 years) 95 percent reduction of total weight of campus waste
  • Goal 5: (25-30 years) Zero waste