Recycling and Waste
Recycling is one of the most visible areas of any sustainability effort and is arguably the most robust sustainability-related program at Columbia. To find out what the college recycles and how to participate, go to our Recycling on Campus page.
The importance of a successful recycling program cannot be understated because it crosses virtually every department and requires action on the part of the entire community. Recycling has become embedded in many of the college’s operations. To find out more about the Columbia Recycling Program, read past recycling reports here.
What are we doing?
Green Seal Program
Waste reduction and minimization are target areas of the college's recycling efforts. The Green Seal program on campus has worked to reduce waste from campus events. Check out our Green Seal Program page for more information. As part of the greening events, there is a checklist of waste minimization guidelines for campus catering and food provided at events. Look over our list of Catering Waste Minimization Guidelines before scheduling you event on campus.
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In early 2012 we received a food scrap grant from the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity to expand our pilot compost program. The program services all cafe areas, faculty and staff offices and select student lounges. Composting is available on request for special event clean up.
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Waste Reduction and Recycling Green Team
As part of the Sustainability Roadmap, Columbia has created a Waste and Recycling Green Team. The team members consist of staff from our office of Campus Environment including the campus Sustainability Manager and Green Space Coordinator. Below are some of the ideal goals and actions for this team.
The Waste Reduction and Recycling Green Team's Goals:
- Maintain waste diversion at least 45% by the 2015-16 academic year.
- Increase awareness of amount of waste and usage by students/faculty/staff.
- Compost up to 20 tons of food and landscape waste in FY2013.
The Waste Reduction and Recycling Green Team's Actions:
- Work with event planners to lower waste and raise awareness at events through the recycling program’s Green Seal initiative.
- Work with other Green Teams to develop plans on waste reduction.