American U Retail Stores Eliminate Plastic Bags
(U.S.): The university has replaced plastic bags with a selection of reusable canvas totes and paper bags at several campus retail locations. The Subway store on campus will also introduce adhesive labels as a means of securing sandwich wrappers, eliminating the need for bags.
U Florida Performs Green Waste Audit
(U.S.): To help achieve its goal of zero waste by 2015, the university’s Office of Sustainability has embarked on a baseline audit to identify and prioritize areas for improvement. Students, faculty and staff will fill out a checklist and record the amounts of energy, water, waste and food they conserve this fall.
U Memphis Constructs Outdoor Recycling Center
(U.S.): In an effort to engage students and provide a place to hang out, the new recycling site features benches, wireless Internet, and a wall constructed from recycled broken stones. The sustainable campus fee provided funding for the project.
Babson College Reduces Student Move-Out Waste
Through a new Green Move Out initiative that urges students to recycle, reuse and donate, the college has reduced the overall waste associated with end-of-the-year student moving by 29 percent. All donations and recyclables were distributed to local nonprofits.
U Massachusetts Lowell Increases Recycling Rate by Nearly 17%
With 54.5 percent of on-campus solid waste recycled in fiscal year 2011, the university has announced a 16.7 percent increase in campus recycling efforts over the previous year. The university attributes the improvement to a campus-wide campaign to reduce energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions that includes a Zero-Sort program.
U Washington Introduces Outdoor Waste Collection Kiosks
The university has installed automated kiosks to replace existing garbage and recycling cans as part of a pilot program. Powered by the sun, the kiosks consist of three containers for sorting waste – composting, recycling and garbage – each of which is equipped with a sensor that regularly measures the mass of material inside. In the first month of use, the total volume of waste collected was 42 percent compostable. The remaining volume was 38 percent recyclable and only 20 percent actual garbage. Due to the success of the pilot project, additional kiosks will be installed this fall.
Harvard U Goes Campus-wide with Styrofoam Recycling
After a successful plastic foam recycling pilot program in the campus research laboratories, the university has announced plans to expand plastic foam recycling to the entire campus. The university is working with its recycling vendor to recycle plastic foam waste containers into new products like picture frames and architectural molding.
U Oregon Students Start Campus Shoe Recycling Program
A group of students from the Lundquist College of Business’ Center for Sustainable Business Practices and the Warsaw Sports Marketing Center have launched a shoe recycling drive program that debuted during the Olympic Trials taking place on campus. "A Step in the Right Direction" sorts selected shoes based on their condition; intact shoes are donated to those in need while worn-out shoes are sent to the Nike Reuse-a-Shoe program where they are used in sports equipment, playground floors and other materials. After the trials, collection boxes will remain on campus indefinitely.
Coastal Carolina U Hosts Campus Salvage Sale
The university’s annual yard sale, organized by the Community and Campus Sustainability Initiative, has raised $2,173 for its Student Green Fee. Items that were not sold were donated to local nonprofits.
Swarthmore College 'Trash 2 Treasure' Breaks Revenue Record
The college’s annual charity-driven yard sale has set a new record by raising more than $26,000 for the United Way of Southeast Delaware County. Shoppers rescued a total of 13.5 tons of goods from landfills this year, including more than 1,000 books, 876 pairs of shoes, 32 rugs, 12 printers and 126 mini-refrigerators.
U California Berkeley Signs Up for Plastic Disclosure Project
The university has embraced the Plastic Disclosure Project, an international initiative that uses the concept of a plastic footprint as a way of stimulating change in the way the world deals with this resource. Campus Recycling and Refuse Services, in partnership with the Office of Sustainability, will start with a campus audit to quantify its plastic use. The campus will then involve faculty, staff and students in strategies for reducing its plastic waste.
Wake Forest U Launches Paperless Payroll
In an effort to reduce paper consumption, the university has discontinued the printing of pay statements and salary letters. A new web application allows employees secure online access to their pay and benefits information.
York U Greens Spring Graduation Ceremonies
The university's recent graduation ceremony featured refillable water bottles for staff and faculty members, eliminating the use of hundreds of disposable water bottles. The initiative is part of a pledge to phase out the sale of disposable water bottles on campus by 2015.
Ohio State U Holds Zero Waste Commencement
(U.S.): The university's 400th graduation ceremony is honoring its Zero Waste at Ohio Stadium initiative, which aims to divert 90 percent of materials generated at events from landfills by having attendees place all fiber and food items into assigned compost and recycling bins. The event had Zero Waste ambassadors stationed at the bins to help educate commencement attendees about the program.
Concord U Launches Recycling Program
The university has partnered with the Raleigh County Solid Waste Authority to create a recycling program. A recycling bin has been placed in the campus education center and the university is working on a recycling education program to raise awareness among the campus community.
Oregon State U Igloo Encourages Use of Reusable Bottles
An eight-foot-tall igloo was constructed out of disposable plastic bottles to encourage the campus community to use reusable bottles. Campus Recycling staff and volunteers asked students to include a message on the back of a drink bottle label about how they plan to reduce waste and attach it by string to the igloo.
U California Santa Barbara Launches Hydration Station Project
The university has received over $15,000 from the Green Initiative Fund and the Coastal Fund to install hydration stations across campus in an effort to reduce the use of disposable water bottles. The new fountains offer filtered and reverse osmosis water to students for free, and reduce the cost of energy in water fountains by not requiring the chillers needed in standard fountains.
U Iowa Donation Drive Diverts 2 Tons of Waste from Landfill
The two-day event netted 3,733 pounds of reusable unwanted items from students moving off campus including small appliances like microwaves and mini-fridges. Initiated last year by a graduate student, this year's drive expanded to include representatives from Goodwill, Habitat for Humanity, the Crisis Center of Johnson County and the university's Housing, Office of Sustainability and Facilities Management.
York U Collects 40% More Move-Out Waste with 'FreeStuff' Pilot
The joint initiative between Housing Services, Residence Life, Waste Management and the President’s Sustainability Council provided FreeStuff tables in each undergraduate residence hall for students to discard unwanted items. By targeting residence halls, the FreeStuff pilot collected 40 percent more items than the same period last year. While the university has collected unwanted clothing for donation to a local clothing bank for the past few years, this year the initiative expanded to household items, books, printers and other electronic items. Used batteries were also gathered to ensure proper disposal.
Boston U Donates 1.5 M Pounds of Surplus Property to Charity
(U.S.): The university recently hit a milestone of more than 1.5 million pounds of surplus furniture and equipment provided to charities since 2002. Through its partnerships, the university recovered more than 525,000 pounds of surplus in 2011, which was distributed among relief projects in more than a dozen countries across Africa, Asia and the Caribbean Basin.
Merced College Starts First Recycling Program on Campus
(U.S.): Several students from a variety of campus organizations have banned together to manage recyclables on campus. The money made from recycling cans will be equally distributed among the organizations. As part of the initiative, the Merced Community College District purchased 10 stainless steel collection containers that will be distributed around campus.
High Point U Hosts 'Clean Sweep' Event
The university collected food, clothing and furniture for local nonprofit organizations during student move-out day. The event collected more than 500 pounds of food, which will benefit 14 local food pantries.
Northwestern U Establishes Composting Program
After two years of planning, compostable materials will now be collected from campus dining halls and sent to a compost facility. Compost bins and educational signs have been posted to inform students of the new initiative.
Syracuse U Launches Student E-Waste Program
Through a new Sustainability Division and Bird Library joint venture, students now have a convenient location to recycle small, non-working electronic items including cell phones, smart phones, PDAs, e-books, cameras and tablets with collection bins located in the library’s first floor recycling room. The items collected are picked up by a local recycling company.
Washington U St. Louis Increases Composting Efforts
The university’s Office of Sustainability and Dining Services have partnered to increase composting efforts to include items like paper napkins, cardboard pizza boxes, tea bags, sugar packets, compostable plastic items and chopsticks. The Office of Sustainability is also working to create a pilot composting program for paper towels in bathrooms.
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.