U Exeter Receives Recycle Zones Donation

Part of Coca-Cola's nationwide "Keep It Going" campaign to increase recycling on college campuses, airports and hospitals, the University of Exeter (UK) is the latest campus to implement on-campus Recycle Zones. The company has provided the university with 200 specialized bins for card, paper, cans and bottles in popular areas on campus.

American U Urges Congress to Cut Bottled Water Spending

American University's (DC) Office of Sustainability administered a "Tap Water Challenge" to attendees at a recent news conference at the Capitol. The conference was held to announce a Corporate Accountability International Report that revealed that the U.S. House of Representatives spends nearly $1 million on bottled water per year. The university challenged attendees including Takoma Park Mayor Bruce Williams to correctly identify tap water among popular brands of bottled water while blindfolded. The university reports that no one succeeded. In addition to urging Congress to renew investments in public water systems and cut spending on bottled water, the university will also ramp up on-campus efforts to discourage bottled water purchases including the addition of more than a hundred water bottle filling spigots on water fountains throughout campus.

Elon U Expands Composting Efforts

Elon University (NC) has added another campus cafe to its list of campus composting locations. The Office of Sustainability has organized volunteers to stand near the composting bins during high traffic hours in an effort to educate students about the benefits of composting. During the 2009-2010 school year, the university diverted more than 100,000 pounds of waste from the landfill through food composting initiatives.

Rice U Students Initiate Campus Composting

Rice University's (TX) Baker College servery has expanded its locally sourced food efforts to include composting, thanks to student efforts. During the fall 2010 semester course, "Environmental Issues: Rice into the Future," that looked at the food waste created by the campus' serveries, a student proposed asking the farmers involved in the Rice University Farmers Market if they could use campus food scraps for compost. In what the university calls its "farm-to-fork-to-farm" program, the university now delivers its food scraps back to the farmers who grow the food.

U Calgary Switches to Compostable Food Packaging

Based on a recent Students' Union poll that revealed overwhelming support for a switch to compostable packaging, the University of Calgary's (AB) MacEwan Conference and Events, along with Chartwells and Good Earth vendors, will eliminate plastic foam packaging for take-out foods on campus. Seventy-seven percent of the more than 2,500 respondents to the survey were willing to pay 25 cents more for a meal if served in compostable packaging, the upper end of what the campus community will likely pay for the switch.

U Florida Hosts Green REthink Campaign

The University of Florida has launched its REthink campaign, an effort to engage, educate and empower students to reduce, reuse and recycle with a campus-wide cleanup. The Office of Sustainability recruited nearly 300 volunteers to collect nearly 3,000 pounds of garbage. Numerous events to engage students will be ongoing until the campaign's completion on April 22, 2011.

Syracuse U Cancels Bulk Delivery of Phone Books

Verizon telephone directories will be delivered to Syracuse University (NY) based on pre-orders from individual departments rather than a bulk delivery to buildings and departments for the second year in a row. Initiated last year, the university ordered 1,490 copies in 2010 versus the approximately 7,000 phone books that were distributed across campus in 2009.

U Mass Medical School Reduces Campus Paper Usage

As a result of urging the campus community to think about their use of paper over the last two years, the amount of paper used by the University of Massachusetts Medical School dropped in fiscal year 2010. Of the paper used, significantly more of it was made from recycled content. In fiscal year 2009, the university purchased 7,224 case of paper, of which 13 percent were made with recycled content. In fiscal year 2010, the total amount of paper bought dropped to 7,096 cases, with 27 percent recycled paper.

Clemson U Expands Recycling Efforts

With a grant from Alcoa, the College and University Recycling Coalition and Keep America Beautiful, Clemson University (SC) has expanded its campus recycling program with more than 7,000 recycling bins for offices, classrooms and residence halls at a cost of about $49,000. Each office will receive a bin for paper and a mini trash bin for non-recyclable waste. In the residence halls, students can use the bins for paper, cardboard, glass, plastic and aluminum. Trash cans will be removed from classrooms and recycling stations will be placed in convenient locations in the hallways. The university hopes to up its current recycling rate of 22.25 percent to between 35 and 40 percent.

Cleveland State U Starts Composting Program

Cleveland State University has announced a partnership with Rosby Farm to implement a composting program on campus. Raw and cooked foods, soiled paper items, coffee filers and cardboard from the university's main production kitchens will be kept out of landfills and manufactured into soil products for plant growth.

Mississippi State U Upgrades Recycling Program

Mississippi State University has signed a $50,000 annual contract to jumpstart its campus-wide recycling program. The contract with Bluebox LLC eases the recycling process by enabling customers to throw all recyclables into the same container without sorting.

U Mississippi Improves Recycling Program with $100K Grant

The University of Mississippi will direct 60 percent of a $100,000 grant issued from the state government to improve its recycling program. The primary investment will be the purchase of new recycling bins on campus. The remaining 40 percent of the grant will be invested in recycling improvements for the university's hosting town of Oxford, Miss.

Yale U Goes Paperless with Annual Financial Report

Yale University’s (CT) Business Operations has announced that it will opt out of printing the typical 8,000 - 10,000 copies of its annual financial report. Instead, the report is available for viewing, downloading and selective printing on its website. This is estimated to save the university $60,000 and more than 300,000 pages of paper. All printing will be done on 100 percent recycled paper for those hard copies that are requested, part of the university's commitment to reduce paper purchasing by 25 percent by 2013.

Kansas U Saves $100,000 in Recycled Furniture

Kansas University's Surplus Property Recycling Program has saved an estimated $100,000 in recycled furniture. This program aligns departments who need furniture with those who want to get rid of furniture on campus. The program has developed an inventory and has a store on campus. Many projects are small in scale, but they recently refurnished the entire Transit and MV Transportation offices with recycled furniture.

U Chicago Institutes Policy on Bottled Water

The University of Chicago's (IL) Facilities Services has implemented a policy on bottled water that eliminates plastic water bottles in Facilities Services buildings, meetings and events. Instead, the department is providing reusable pitchers, cups and trays for serving water at meetings and events, and supplying each staff member with a reusable aluminum water bottle. The department will also promote the continued installation of water bottle filling stations in all Facilities staff locations.

U Chicago Debuts Upgraded Residential Recycling Program

Students living in the House System at the University of Chicago (IL) returned from winter break to a simplified recycling system that allows all recyclable items to be deposited in any recycling container in the dorms. The House System now joins the rest of the campus, which had already converted to this single-stream recycling program. The university currently recycles about 40 percent of its waste stream.

U Massachusetts Medical School Recycling Rates Rise

The University of Massachusetts Medical School has announced a rise in campus recycling rates of 30 percent. Since its last fiscal year that ended June 2010, which posted an annual recycling rate of 23 percent, the university has contracted a new vendor, Northeast Material Handling, to take care of large recycling items like furniture, refrigerators and fixtures. The university plans to reach a 50 percent recycling rate with additional bins and signage across campus.

U Wisconsin Oshkosh Implements 100% Recycled Paper Policy

The University of Wisconsin, Oshkosh has announced its switch from 30 percent post-consumer recycled bond to 100 percent recycled paper on campus. The first reams have been distributed and are expected to save about 1,100 trees per year. The university's Campus Sustainability Council is working with departments across campus to reduce paper consumption by 5 percent to make the initiative budget neutral and increase paper consumption awareness.

EPA Reveals Game Day Challenge Results

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has announced the winners of its Game Day Challenge. More than 75 schools participated in the October competition, targeting more than 2.8 million fans and diverting more than 500,000 pounds of waste. Ithaca College (NY) and the University of Tennessee at Martin tied for Waste Minimization Champion; University of California, Davis was named the Diversion Rate Champion; University of Central Oklahoma earned both the Greenhouse Gas Reduction Champion and Recycling Champion titles; and Marist College (NY) was named the Organics Reduction Champion.

U Scranton Students Initiate Off-Campus Housing Recycling Efforts

As part of a communication senior seminar class, students at the University of Scranton (PA) have spearheaded a recycling program for students living in off-campus housing. The students initially launched “Bin Your Bottles” as a Facebook campaign and as a result, about 50 off-campus student households requested recycling bins. Now the program provides recycling bins at off-campus locations in cooperation with the Scranton, Pa. Department of Public Works.

Art Institute of Philadelphia Hosts Recycling Media Competition

The Art Institute of Philadelphia has chosen the winners of a competition among its graphic design students to devise a new poster campaign to promote campus recycling. The posters of the two winning teams will be displayed on recycling bins and as part of a six-month advertising campaign on bulletin boards around the college.

Colorado State U Aims to Increase Recycling with New System

Colorado State University has launched a sustainability education campaign with a new labeling system for campus recycling bins. After extensive research including focus groups and a review of signage from other campuses and cities, the university’s Live Green team designed new single-stream labeling stickers for outdoor recycling bins on campus. The new stickers are simple, brightly colored and image-based to reduce confusion and improve understanding of the single-stream system. The Live Green team hopes the new stickers will help improve campus recycling rates.

Linfield College Participates in Food Waste Reduction Program

Linfield College (OR) has reduced its campus kitchen food waste by about one-third as part of a Sodexo, Inc. pilot project to track and monitor campus food waste at eight U.S. institutions. Part of its "Stop Wasting Food Campaign," Sodexo partnered with food waste tracking system technology company LeanPath for the pilot study, which is focused on kitchen - or pre-consumer - waste, rather than what customers throw out. The study features a tracking station at each participating school where employees enter data about what they are throwing out and why. Each school has a Stop Waste Action Team (SWAT) to review the waste tracking data, set specific goals for improvement and test waste prevention ideas. Linfield College weighs its pre-consumer waste everyday to calculate the dollar amount that is wasted. Other institutions participating in the waste-reduction pilot program include Coe College (IA); California State University, Monterey Bay; Juniata College (PA); Marist College (NY); Pomona College (CA); University of California, Davis; and the University of Wisconsin-River Falls.

Loyola U Chicago Turns Turkey Grease into Biodiesel

Loyola University Chicago’s (IL) Center for Urban Environmental Research and Policy collected donations of used turkey grease, animal fat and vegetable oil after Thanksgiving. The center’s biodiesel program will convert the oil collected into biodiesel to be be used in campus vehicles. Additionally, a byproduct of biodiesel will be used to make soap to sell in campus stores.

Northern Essex CC Announces Single-Stream Recycling

Northern Essex Community College (MA) has announced the implementation of single-stream recycling on campus. A joint effort among the city of Havervill and the college's Facilities Management and Environmental Impact and Sustainability Committee, all recyclables including paper, cardboard, plastic and glass can be deposited in the same bin. The college also purchased additional recycling bins.

U South Carolina Encourages Non-consumerism with 'Freecycling'

In connection with its "Buy Nothing Movement," the University of South Carolina recently offered an alternative to throwing away old items and shopping for new ones with its "Freecycling" initiative. The student-initiated event encouraged the campus community to bring unwanted items for participants to sort through and take free of charge. Unclaimed items at the end of the event were taken to Goodwill and the Salvation Army store. Attendees were asked to pledge to buy nothing the day after Thanksgiving in an effort to promote non-consumerism and educate people about the increasing amount of waste created by a consumer based society.

Central Michigan U Installs Recycling Bins Across Campus

Central Michigan University has placed 100 new recycling bins around campus. The new receptacles are painted maroon and gold to stand out to and make it difficult for students to ignore. The university conducted research to determine where the heaviest traffic occurs and placed the bins accordingly. The university expects the new bins to help increase the amount of recycled waste.

U Connecticut Implements Single Stream Recycling Program

The University of Connecticut has launched a single stream recycling program on campus. The new program will allow users to throw all types of recycling materials including paper, plastic, glass and aluminum into a single container. Since the start of the program, 100 outdoor recycling bins have been purchased. The university expects the single stream recycling to increase campus recycling efforts.

U South Carolina Tries Out Off-Campus Housing Recycling Program

The University of South Carolina has partnered with Keep the Midlands Beautiful and Sonoco Recycling to run a trial recycling program at off-campus student housing locations. Sonoco has provided collection bins for aluminum and plastic materials and has agreed to empty them free of charge. The university's Off-Campus Student Services is working to get groups like Students Advocating a Greener Campus involved to help expand the program past the trial phase.

U Wisconsin Platteville Receives $1.18 Mil for Bio-Energy System

The University of Wisconsin-Platteville's Pioneer Farm has received $1.18 million for a bio-energy project to convert manure into methane used to generate electrical power. With plans to make the farm a showcase for new bio-energy technology with educational and research opportunities for students and faculty, the project will include the construction of a manure pit, solids separator, substrate holding tank, preheating and missing tank, anaerobic digester, gas scrubber and a gas-driven electrical generator. The campus farm will test other organic material in the digester including cheese whey, food waste and byproducts from biodiesel processing. The system is estimated to save the farm about $73,000 in annual energy costs and have a 14-year payback period. A $156,200 Focus on Energy grant will be awarded when the project is completed in December 2011.

U Chicago Makes Furniture from Trees Removed During Construction

Trees that were removed in preparation for a new campus library at the University of Chicago (IL) have recently reappeared as furniture on campus. Where possible, trees that were removed during the construction of the Manseuto Library were replanted nearby. The university worked with Horigan Urban Forest Products, Inc. and local woodworkers to repurpose the remaining trees that were slated for disposal into benches, conference tables and closet doors.

Austin College Hosts Community E-Waste Recycling Event

Austin College (TX) recently recycled seven pallets of electronic waste during its community e-waste recycling event as part of the college’s Great Day of Service and the Thinking Green initiative. A truck was provided by certified green recycler e-Waste Collections to accept and properly process the unwanted electrical equipment and materials for recycling. A wide variety of items were dropped off including broken air-conditioning units, computer monitors, printers, power supplies, keyboards and binding machines. Items collected will be reviewed for possible reuse or refurbishing.

Illinois State U Starts Community Composting Initiative

Illinois State University has created a community composting initiative, a public-private partnership aimed to divert food waste from landfills. Local businesses such as hotels and restaurants, as well as schools and other entities handling food will be provided an outlet to compost food waste at the university farm. The $137,000 start-up costs were covered by state grants. Midwest Fiber will serve as the program’s hauler, contracting with businesses to pick up the food waste.

John Carroll U Revamps Recycling Program

John Carroll University (OH) has begun to revamp its recycling program. The university is working to make recycling bins more distinguishable and make recycling easier and more obvious to students in residence halls. Small blue receptacles will be distributed to each student’s room. Additionally, the university renegotiated its contract with Landmark Disposal for Waste that will include the installation of scales on the truck to measure how much waste the campus generates.

U Guelph Begins Organic Power Plant

Production is expected to begin in February on an organic power plant at the University of Guelph's (ON) Ridgetown campus. The university received a $2.6 million grant through the Federal Development Agency for Southern Ontario to assist in the construction of an anaerobic digester that will turn manure and other waste into electricity. The plant will also feature a dry-feeder system, pasteurization unit and biogas engine. Biogas will be produced from several organic waste streams including dairy manure, swine manure, beef manure, corn silage and other off-farm waste that would otherwise go to a landfill.

U Pennsylvania Expands Recycling Program

The University of Pennsylvania has expanded its recycling program. The university will recycle all plastic containers and plastic types numbered one through seven. Blue Mountain Recycling has installed new equipment on campus capable of sorting and recycling beyond number one and two plastics. The university hopes that the expanded plastic recycling will boost its goal for a 40 percent campus recycling rate by 2014.

Seattle U Bans Bottled Water

As a result of a three-year, student-led initiative, Seattle University (WA) has banned the sale of bottled water on campus including vending machines, athletics concession stands, the college bookstore, on-campus restaurants and catering. Fostering students’ concern for justice and the competence to promote it; keeping water as a human right and not a commodity to be bought and sold for profit; and moving further toward its greenhouse gas emissions reduction goal are the reasons listed by the university to ban the sale of bottled water.

Brigham Young U Idaho Opens New Recycling Center

Brigham Young University–Idaho has opened a new recycling center in an effort to recycle at least 30 percent of its garbage, which would equate to 261 tons a year. The center will sort the materials into seven different areas from aluminum and white paper to cardboard and plastic. Recycling efforts began when students and faculty weighed and sorted one week’s worth of garbage and found that 54 percent of garbage thrown away was recyclable. Recycling revenue and money saved from reduced garbage disposal will cover the extra costs of sorting and delivering recyclables, making the new process cost neutral for the university.

DePaul U Installs Water Bottle Refill Stations

DePaul University (IL) has installed water bottle refill stations to help reduce its plastic water bottle waste. Sponsored by the Student Government Association, the university has placed refill stations that are controlled by an electric sensor at high traffic areas throughout campus. Each station tallies the number of times the unit has refilled a water bottle, providing an idea of how many plastic bottles were prevented from ending up in a landfill.

Drury U Expands Recycling, Composting Programs

Drury University (MO) has expanded its recycling and composting efforts. The university has purchased single-stream receptacles to place throughout campus and launched a composting program to eliminate food waste. All disposable food service items will be compostable including plates, forks and cups. The university hopes to establish an in-vessel composting operation on campus in the near future.

Portland Community College Debuts Rocket Composter

As a result of student-driven research, Portland Community College (OR) has unveiled its new rocket composter. The self-contained, continuous-cycle composting unit allows the daily feeding of service ware and the harvest of compost. To speed up the process, it regulates water, temperature and humidity to facilitate four stages of the breakdown of compost. Last year, students were given the opportunity to determine where money from the college’s increased enrollment income could be used to improve the college’s infrastructure. As a result, the pilot project, if successful, will lead to the purchase of additional rocket composters.

Agnes Scott College Diverts 64% of Campus Waste from Landfills

Agnes Scott College (GA) has diverted 64 percent of its overall campus waste from landfills due to several recent sustainability initiatives. The college’s goal is to divert 80 percent of its waste from the landfill waste by June 2011, and achieve close to zero percent waste by the following year. Sustainable initiatives include a single-stream recycling program, compost program and the college has partnered with Terracycle to recycle chip and candy wrappers. Terracycle transforms the waste into a variety of products including tote bags and toys. The college also began offering reusable, plastic take-out containers to further minimize waste and in campus dining areas.

Duke U Turns Hog Waste into Energy

Duke University (NC) and Duke Energy have launched a pilot system to manage hog waste that can control greenhouse gas emissions, reduce pollutants and generate renewable energy. The $1.8 million prototype system is intended to serve as a model for other hog farms seeking to manage waste and develop on-farm renewable power. Methane gas collected from an anaerobic digester will be used to generate clean energy. Grant funding came from the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the North Carolina Department of Environmental and Natural Resources Lagoon Conversion Program.

New York U Green Grant Increases Recycling by 178%

New York University's student-led Stern Centralized Recycling Pilot Project increased the average weight of recycled material in the Stern School of Business by 178 percent. Funded by a New York University Sustainability Task Force Green Grant, the project removed all trash cans from classrooms and placed them in public areas, pairing them with single-stream recycling receptacles.

John Carroll U Partners with Coke for Campus Recycling Efforts

John Carroll University (OH) has signed a beverage agreement with Coca-Cola. New campus vending machines conserve energy by turning off at night and Coca-Cola pledged to give the university $10,000 worth of new recycling containers in support of its recycling and sustainability initiatives.

New York U Green Grantee Collects $5,000 Worth of E-Waste

New York University's student-led “TERRE: Technical Education Reusing and Repurposing E-Waste” project diverted electronic waste from three buildings on campus and used it as raw material to run two electronic construction workshops. The student project, funded by a New York University Sustainability Task Force Green Grant, collected at least 2,061 individual electronic components, 25 devices and more than 100 feet of wire. The value of the items collected was estimated at more than $5,000. The waste stream audit suggests that the flow of surplus electronics is enough to sustain an expanded science, technology, engineering and math education program.

North Carolina State U Launches Composting Program

North Carolina State University has implemented a composting program. To reduce the possibility of contaminating the compost material, University Dining has removed all plastic utensils and trash cans in serving and seating areas of the dining halls. In kitchen areas, trash cans have been replaced with bins for trash, compost and recycling. The compost will be shipped to a nearby facility to convert the collected food waste to soil. The initiative will help the university reach its goal of diverting 65 percent of its waste from the landfill by 2015.

Ohio State U Holds Zero-Waste Event

The Ohio State University hosted its first zero-waste event. The Scarlet, Gray and Green Buckeye Bash was organized by The Ohio State University Alumni Association, in partnership with Green Columbus and Ohio State’s Department of Facilities Operations and Development. The goals were to eliminate waste, use local food and beverages, incorporate alternative energy and educate guests. The university was able to divert 96 percent of the event's waste from the landfill.

Rice U Installs Recycling Kiosk

Rice University (TX) has installed a recycling kiosk as part of a pilot project by the Greenopolis Group at Waste Management, a national company that handles the university's solid waste. The Greenopolis Group is the division of Waste Management focused on developing technologies to increase recycling levels. The kiosk is a one-year trial at the university. It is capable of storing up to 9,000 aluminum cans and 1,700 bottles. Users are able to register on the Greenopolis website to receive points that can be redeemed for rewards as an incentive for using the recycling kiosk.

Syracuse U Labs Start Recycling Plastic Foam

Laboratories at Syracuse University (NY) have launched a plastic foam recycling initiative. The student-initiated program collects cold-shipping polystyrene boxes from campus labs and the university's Physical Plant department delivers them to a local company for recycling. Since the start of the initiative this year, more than 141 boxes have been recycled.