Though it’s been just over one year since President Mark D. Gearan signed the American College and University President’s Climate Commitment, the Colleges have already gone green – and in a big way. From recycling to reducing waste, the campus is becoming more eco-friendly one ton of waste at a time.
The percent of recyclables in our waste stream is up, explained Sustainability Coordinator Jamie Landi ‘08. “We are looking forward to the start of Recyclemania in January, and hope to beat last years record high of 23.28 percent. We’ve seen an impressive jump over last year’s numbers which shows that our various efforts are succeeding. And we’ve only just begun!”
Addressing the Colleges’ faculty and staff, Landi added that, “We estimate that at least 80 percent of what you use in your offices is recyclable.”
What else can the whole campus keep doing? “Think about what you throw away,” Associate Professor of Economics and HWS Task Force Co-Chair Tom Drennen said. “Can it be recycled? Most likely, it can, so you should pitch it in a recycle bin. And remember, everything can go in any of the blue bins on campus. The Colleges have no-sort recycling. In other words, you don’t have to separate recyclables – just pitch everything in one bin, including cardboard, cans, plastics numbered one through seven, paperbacks, phonebooks, newspapers, office paper, junk mail, aluminum and even shredded paper.”
“In terms of composting, we’ve also made good progress,” Landi explained. “In October, we averaged 2,812 pounds per week of food scraps at Saga Dining Hall. That’s 1.4 tons per week, up from zero a year ago. This is a truly great effort – the entire HWS community should be proud.”
“Although we’ve made huge steps to becoming an even more sustainable campus, we’re keeping up the momentum with a number of new initiatives,” said Drennen. “In the coming weeks, we hope to greatly increase the amount of double-sided printing on campus. Our new Xerox printers make double-sided printing really simple.”
“We are also testing the use of 100 percent recycled paper in the new Xerox machines,” Drennen added.
Looking ahead, Landi and Drennen added that, “We are very excited at what we have accomplished so far. Help us maintain the momentum!”
If HWS community members have questions about recycling, a missing blue bin or switching their department to 100 percent recycled paper, contact Landi@hws.edu.