Campus Conservation Nationals 2012 Announces Top Savers

Nearly a quarter-million students at 100 colleges and universities across the U.S. collectively saved 1,739,046 kilowatt-hours of energy and 1,554,814 gallons of water during this year's three-week competition. The top five schools with the greatest average percent reduction in electricity (ranging from 16 to 36 percent across all participating buildings) are Southern Connecticut State University, University of Kentucky, Western Technical College (Wisconsin), Hofstra University (New York) and Bowling Green State University (Ohio). The nationwide electricity and water reduction competition is organized by the U.S. Green Building Council's (USGBC) Center for Green Schools, Lucid Design Group, Alliance to Save Energy and the National Wildlife Federation.

Jamestown College Implements Campus-wide Recycling Program

After a successful pilot program, the college is taking its recycling program campus-wide with $3,000 worth of additional recycling bins for residence halls. Long term, the college aims to have small receptacles in each dorm room as well as larger receptacles in every building on campus.

RecycleMania Tournament Reveals 2012 Winners

American University (D.C.) earned the title of Grand Champion in the 12th Annual RecycleMania Tournament, which diverted a total of 92 million pounds of recyclables and organic materials from the landfill and prevented the release of nearly 150,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent. The university earned the title with an overall waste recycling percentage of 85 percent. With nearly 62 pounds of recyclables collected per person, Union College (New York) won the Per Capita Classic award and Valencia College (Florida) was recognized for Waste Minimization with the lowest overall amount of recyclables and trash per person (2.8 pounds). Florida State University students won the tournament's second annual video contest with the most "likes" on You Tube.

Rutgers U Launches 'Project Move Out' to Reduce Waste

Launching this month, Project Move Out will provide free pick-up of items like furniture, electronics and appliances as students leave campus for the summer. An effort to reduce landfill waste, the items will be taken to the appropriate recycling facility by university personnel.

Harvard U Pilots New 'Upcycling' Program at Law School

Through a partnership with TerraCycle, members of the law school community can now drop off hard-to-recycle or previously non-recyclable items like plastic packaging or writing instruments in bins located across campus, where they will be turned into new products ranging from recycled park benches to upcycled backpacks. The university aims to take the initiative university-wide.

Michigan State U to Convert Waste into Power for Campus Buildings

University trustees have approved plans to build a $5 million alternative energy device that will convert waste from its farm and dining halls into energy for powering campus buildings. The anaerobic digester is a sealed oxygen-free tank where organic waste will be degraded at an elevated temperature, producing methane for fuel.

Saint Michael’s College Students Lead Bottled Water Elimination

A resolution to ban the sale and distribution of bottled water on campus has been approved by the Student Association, Faculty Assembly and President's Cabinet and the college is taking steps to remove bottled water from campus vending machines. Student leaders are working to add additional reusable water bottle refill stations to the current seven stations on campus.

U Tennessee Martin Expands Recycling Efforts

The university has installed 1,500 recycling bins around campus and in residence halls. The bins were made possible by a grant from the Alcoa Foundation, in partnership with Keep America Beautiful.

Vassar College Installs Solar Powered Compactors

The college aims to reduce litter and increase recycling with five new solar powered trash and recycling compactors on campus. The $28,000 initiative was funded with money from the college's Asset Preservation Fund, which is designated for campus renewal and non-recurring capital.

York U to Phase Out Sale of Plastic Water Bottles

The university's president, vice-chancellor and York Federation of Students president recently signed a pledge to phase out the sale of bottled water on both of its Keele and Glendon campuses by September 2015. In the meantime, York Sustainability Engagement Coordinator Pavel Graymason tells AASHE Bulletin that the university will work to double the number of hydration stations on campus to at least 50 stations.

Macquarie U Hosts Swap Party

(Australia): The university's Sustainability group recently invited the campus community to swap items they no longer needed for new items. The event was designed to prevent items from going to the landfill and to raise awareness about the environmental impact of throwing away unwanted items.

U Queensland Installs Water Bottle Refill Stations

(Australia): Three new water bottle refill stations have been installed on campus as part of the university’s campaign to raise awareness of the environmental and financial costs of purchasing bottled water. The installation follows the success of a trial water station installed in spring last year. The university plans to install more stations over the coming months.

Eastern Kentucky U Installs Water Bottle Filling Stations

A $5,000 grant from the Bluegrass PRIDE community grant program will fund the installation of five water bottle filling stations in an effort to steer the campus community away from plastic water bottle use. With another $8,835 grant, biology and wildlife faculty and students will assist in the construction of an outdoor classroom and wetlands area to be shared by two local schools.

Central Michigan U Launches 'Bring Your Own Bottle' Campaign

In effort to raise environmental awareness and sustainability through small steps, the university’s Student Environmental Alliance has partnered with the Great Lakes Institute for Sustainable Systems to distribute 700 Bring Your Own Bottle (B.Y.O.B.) stickers around campus. Stickers have been placed near water fountains and trash cans to encourage the elimination of plastic water bottle waste.

Unity College Steps Up Access to Clean Drinking Water

In answer to a campus student survey, the college has installed new water coolers in residence halls that use water from existing plumbing, and new fixtures on water fountains in public spaces that make filling water bottles easier.

West Virginia U Pilots Alumni Water Kiosk Invention

Evive Station, a bottle cleaning and filling kiosk created by university alumni, is making its pilot debut on campus. About 4,300 students signed up to use the kiosk, which cleans and refills bottles with cold, filtered water. The university hopes that the convenient system will encourage resource conservation among students.

Green Mountain College Goes 'Zero-Sort'

(U.S.): Adopting the Casella Waste Systems' "Power of Three" closed loop recycling system, all of the college’s paper, plastic, glass and metal will now be combined together in one single container, sorted at Casella's processing facility, and returned to campus as 100 percent recycled paper content products.

Indian Institute of Technology, Bombay Plant Produces Biodiesel

(India): The Indian Institute of Technology, Bombay’s biosynth, a plant created by students, has produced its first batch of biodiesel made from waste edible oil. The fuel will be used in fumigation exercises on campus. Students and faculty are currently in the process of tweaking the plant and hope to expand production to provide biodiesel fuel for transportation facilities.

U North Alabama Receives Grant to Improve Recycling Efforts

(U.S.): The University of North Alabama and City of Florence Recycling Center have received a grant from the Alabama Department of Environmental Management to improve and increase recycling initiatives on the university campus. The funds will be used to purchase recycling containers for placement across campus. The university will also use part of the grant to implement more advertisements and promotions of the campus-recycling program.

St. Cloud State U Pilots 'Re-Cycle' Program

St. Cloud State University's (Minnesota) Husky Re-Cycle pilot program is offering eight bicycles built from donated parts by volunteer mechanics for use to students living on campus.

Aims CC Works to Expand Recycling Program

Aims Community College (CO) has partnered with Green Girl Recycling to decrease trash removal and associated costs by making it easier for people to find recycling locations on campus. The college will install at least 100 larger recycling containers.

Austin CC Culinary Arts Works to Reduce Waste

Austin Community College's (TX) Culinary Arts Institute has adopted several sustainability initiatives including a new composting program, biodegradable food containers and recyclable cutlery. The department is currently seeking to integrate local farmers into the purchase of food for its restaurants.

Michigan State U Uses Recycled Concrete for Construction

Michigan State University has started saving thousands of dollars in construction costs by using recycled concrete for campus projects. The university is keeping the discarded concrete from the landfill by using it mainly as a sub-base beneath sidewalks and asphalt parking lots.

Richard Stockton College Installs Water Refill Stations

Richard Stockton College (NJ) has installed seven water bottle filling stations on campus. The stations, part of the college’s sustainability program, have refilled the equivalent of more than 80,000 plastic water bottles since the first installation. According to a campus study, 89 percent of students said the water from the refill stations are better or just as good as bottled water.

Southeastern Louisiana U to Implement Recycling, Solar on Campus

Southeastern Louisiana University’s Physical Plant Services Office has announced new sustainability initiatives including the installation of solar panels on its kinesiology and administration buildings for heating water and an expanded recycling program. The university is working toward the eventual eradication of dumpsters on campus within the next 10 years.

SUNY Sullivan Partners for Waste Management

State University of New York at Sullivan has announced a partnership with HospitalityGreen to further its environmentally friendly purchasing and waste management initiatives. The sustainable operations consultants will develop recommendations for waste improvements in the cafeteria, dorms and all academic and administrative departments.

U Chicago Promotes Sustainable Drinking Options

The University of Chicago's (IL) Facilities Services has instituted a bottled water policy that eliminates bottled water in all departmental buildings, meetings and events. The university has also partnered with a new water supplier to perform a university-wide assessment for transitioning bottled water coolers to sustainable water delivery systems including filtration systems.

Vanderbilt U Expands Plastic Recycling

Vanderbilt University (TN) has partnered with Waste Management, Inc. to expand its recycling program to accept all plastic containers. The university aims to increase its recycling rates and diminish the impact on the local landfill.

Oberlin College Expands Composting Efforts Amid Success

With a reported 704 pounds of food waste diverted from landfills last semester, Oberlin College (OH) has announced plans to expand its compost initiative. This spring, the college's Resource Conservation Team will aim to double the 14 pick-up locations currently available on campus and select captains to lead each one.

U California Merced Installs Hydration Station

In an effort to reduce the number of plastic water bottles on campus, the University of California, Merced has installed a new hydration station to refill reusable bottles. The station will cost the university $54 a month to operate including the maintenance, electricity and filter. The university is planning to install three more stations.

U Kentucky Pilots Single Stream Recycling Program

A graduate student has spearheaded a single-stream outdoor recycling pilot program at the University of Kentucky. The $12,990 initiative was made possible by a funding and maintenance partnership between the Student Sustainability Council and the Physical Plant Division.

U Iowa Encourages Recycling with Removal of Waste Cans

The University of Iowa has taken its campus-wide single-stream recycling program a step further by removing waste containers from all classrooms in a campus building. With the goal of encouraging students, faculty and staff to recycle as many items as possible, the pilot initiative may be expanded to more buildings in the future.

Tufts U Implements Recycling Rewards Machine

Tufts University (MA) has installed a recycling machine that will accept empty bottles and cans in exchange for five cents worth of JumboCash or a charitable donation for every unit recycled. Compensation for the items will immediately be transferred electronically to student or pay pal accounts.

U Colorado Colorado Springs Implements Composting Program

The University of Colorado Colorado Spring's Office of Sustainability has partnered with Waste Management to introduce a new large-scale composting program. Two containers have been installed to encourage students, faculty and staff to properly dispose of food waste and other compostable materials. If successful, the university will place additional compost receptacles around campus.

Arizona State U Announces 'Zero Solid Waste' Goal by 2015

Arizona State University has announced a new "Roadmap to Zero Solid Waste" collaboration with Waste Management of Arizona. The three-phase program aims to eliminate at least 90 percent of the university’s solid waste on all four campuses by 2015. Waste Management is working to assess the university’s complete waste collection process, waste generation and material conveyance, and will provide guidance and direction throughout the roadmap development process.

St. John Fisher College Installs Water Bottle Refilling Stations

St. John Fisher College's (NY) Recycling and Sustainability Committee has installed several water bottle filling stations on campus, funded by PepsiCo, Inc. as part of their contract with the college to support sustainability efforts. The college plans to purchase additional stations next year.

Students Spearhead Hydration Station Installation at Rice U

Rice University (TX) has installed a student-initiated campus water station designed for filling reusable water bottles. The project, which was funded by Rice Endowment for Sustainable Energy Technology, originated in an “Environmental Issues: Rice Into the Future” course, which uses the campus as a lab for learning about sustainability.

U Vermont Bans Bottled Water, Mandates Healthy Vending Options

Spearheaded by the student-run Vermont Student Environmental Program, the University of Vermont has announced plans to eliminate the sale of bottled water and introduced a mandate that one-third of drinks offered in vending machines be healthy options. The sale of bottled water in the university’s 57 vending machines and retail outlets will end in January 2013, allowing time for the university to retrofit drinking fountains across campus and for the affected campus departments to make adjustments.

Linfield College Students Produce 'Tap That' Documentary

Two students at Linfield College (OR) have produced a short documentary about the social justice, public safety and environmental implications of bottled water. The students are using the video to reach out to groups on campus - and beyond - to raise awareness of these issues and move toward a ban of bottled water.

Texas State U Installs Water Refilling Stations

Texas State University has installed 23 water bottle refilling stations outfitted with a bottle counter that reveals the quantity of bottles saved from landfills. The project was made by possible by a $20,000 grant from the university's Environmental Service Committee.

Union College Receives Donation to Revamp Recycling System

Union College's (NY) U-Sustain has received an anonymous $8,000 donation to improve its recycling system. The grant will be used to install more recycling bins around campus to encourage the recycling of plastics, glass and other materials.

EPA Announces 2011 Game Day Results

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has announced the winners of its 2011 Game Day Challenge. Seventy-eight schools participated in the fall competition, targeting 2.7 million fans and diverting more than 500,000 pounds of waste. With the highest recycling rate and the greatest greenhouse gas reductions, the University of Virginia is 2011's Recycling Champion and Greenhouse Gas Reduction Champion. Central Connecticut State University earned the title of Waste Minimization Champion; the University of California, Davis held onto the title of Diversion Rate Champion from 2010; and Marist College (NY) also kept its title of Organics Reduction Champion.

Saint Michael’s College Adopts Closed-Loop Recycling System

Saint Michael’s College (VT) has announced its participation in Casella Waste System's Power of Three closed-loop recycling initiative. The program takes collected recycling and gives it back to the customer in the form of hand towels, tissue paper and toiletry items. The university’s recycling will be returned in the form of 100 percent recycled paper products.

UC Santa Barbara Pilots 'Plastic-Free Campuses' Campaign

Four student organizations at the University of California, Santa Barbara have partnered with the Plastic Pollution Coalition to ban single-use plastic bags and raise awareness of the detrimental affects of plastics on the environment. The campus is the pilot institution for the coalition's global “Plastic-Free Campuses” project. The university will kick-off the campaign by displaying a single day’s worth of plastic on campus, as well as a sculpture made completely of plastic found on local beaches.

U District of Columbia Conducts Bottled Water Reduction Outreach

In a blind taste test held recently by the University of the District of Columbia's Sustainability Initiative and Student Government Association, 52 percent of campus participants preferred the taste of filtered tap water over bottled spring water. To promote the use of tap water on campus, the groups also gave each of the 54 participants a short quiz to gauge their knowledge of the bottled water industry. The university's director of planning and sustainability, Howard Ways, tells the Bulletin that 24 hydration stations will be installed throughout campus. Five stations have been installed so far.

Harvard U Labs Save Waste, Money with Reusable Glass Bottles

Two labs in the Stem Cell and Regenerative Biology Department at Harvard University (MA) recently switched from using disposable plastic bottles to reusable glass bottles for filtering media for tissue culture. The conversion has saved over $9500 in the first seven months and prevented 2600 plastic bottles from going into the waste stream.

Long Island U C.W. Post Installs Hydration Stations

In an effort to reduce plastic bottle waste, Long Island University - C.W. Post Campus has installed three hydration stations on campus. The initiative was approved after students in the geography department presented a cost benefit analysis to the Provost. Students and faculty are campaigning to have hydration stations installed in every main building on campus and residence halls.

Appalachian State U Works to Implement Duplex Printing

To save paper and cut costs, Appalachian State University’s (NC) Technology Support Services is working with the Student Government Association and Office of Sustainability to implement a new duplex printing initiative this spring. Double-sided (duplex) printer settings in campus printing stations would curb the university’s current $50,555 in annual printing costs.

St. Edward’s U Announces Paperless Office Initiative

St. Edwards’s University (TX) has launched an initiative to go paperless in its campus offices. Paychecks have been replaced by email notifications and electronic paystubs. The Business and Human Resources offices have replaced paper paystubs with email notifications and introduced an online time-keeping system. The university expects to save 96,000 sheets of paper and $7,900 of supply expense annually.

U Chicago Recycles 8 Tons During Week-long E-Waste Event

The University of Chicago (IL) recycled more than eight tons (16,000 pounds) of electronic waste during a recent week-long collection. Staff, faculty and students were able to dispose of printers, fax machines, computer monitors and more. The e-waste was brought to a local recycling center for disassembly and erasure in accordance with U.S. Department of Defense standards.