The UCCS Office of Sustainability unites the efforts of faculty, staff and students to support development and lifestyles on campus and in the community that sustain natural resources and protect the environment, ultimately ensuring the ability of future generations to meet their needs too.
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The Office of Sustainability is a department of the Office of the Vice Chancellor for Administration and Finance
As the world's population continues to increase, so too does the demand for finite resources. Recycling diverts waste from our landfills into facilities that can separate and process the waste so that it can be made into new products. Recycled products not only reduce the need for virgin materials, they also decrease the amount of energy used in production of products. Recycling is one of the easiest ways we can help reduce our impact on the planet.
Reduce, reuse, and recycle! First and foremost, reduce: ask yourself if you really need to purchase what’s in your hand. By analyzing our purchasing habits, we can begin to eliminate needless trash that is sent to the landfill. Second, determine if the item can be reused by you, your friends, or a local organization such as Goodwill Industries. Finally, recycle the item if at all possible. By recycling, we become better stewards of our environment and more accountable consumers. Recycling is only part of the equation though -- buying recycled and post-consumer products brings the equation full circle. Here are some of the reasons why recycling is so beneficial (Source: U.S. EPA):
UCCS initiated a comprehensive recycling program in 2007 with a two-year goal of recycling 26% of its waste. In January 2009, UCCS moved to single-stream recycling, which helped ease uncertainty of what goes where, and increased the presence of recycling bins throughout the campus. Single stream allows all recyclable materials to be put into a single bin, thus eliminating the need to separate the waste. Single-stream recycling typically improves recycling rates by about 30%. UCCS' longer term goal is to achieve a 50% recycling rate by 2012. We are pursuing a number of initiatives to achieve this goal, including zero waste athletic and other events on campus.
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UCCS has a battery recycling program with Bluestar Recycling. Currently, there are black buckets around the UCCS campus to drop off all household batteries, small appliances, and cell phones. Dropoff locations:
UCCS Bookstore is working with Tonerbuyers and Cartridges-for-Kids to recycle toner ink cartridges. The links for which cartridges are acceptable can be found here:
As the UCCS campus grows, so does our need to reduce waste. Along with our Single Stream Recycling, we have a Heller Center composting system. This is a small composting system that allows for the natural aid to the Heller Center Garden. Soon the Sustainability office will introduce an industrial compost system, that will allow for food waste on campus to be composted.Plastic Wrap:
Did you know plastic bags should NOT be recycled in a single stream recycling bin? While it is a plastic, it gets wound around the machines, and can slow the process down. To keep these expenses down, there are other ways to recycle plastic bags. UCCS Bookstore has a box to put plastic wraps in. Items that can recycled can be found here:http://earth911.com/recycling/plastic/plastic-bags/tips-on-recycling-plastic-bags/
RecycleMania is a friendly nationwide recycling competition among more than 400 colleges and universities that provides the campus community with a fun, proactive activity in waste reduction. Over a 10-week period, campuses compete in different contests to see which institution can collect the largest amount of recyclables per capita, the largest amount of total recyclables, the least amount of trash per capita, or have the highest recycling rate.
In 2008, UCCS placed 41st overall and 17th among public institutions in its first time participation in RecycleMania, with a 25% recycling rate. This year the university achieved a 26.2% recycling rate, placing 104th overall and 53rd among public institutions.
Recycling off-campus in our personal lives is important too. While Colorado Springs lacks some of the recycling resources of other cities in Colorado, with a little effort it is possible to recycle most anything that is recyclable here. For more information on local recycling resources, visit the city's recycling web site.