San Diego State University is building a world class recycling program - but we need your help. Our local recycler and hauler, EDCO, can recycle almost everything. Pre-consumer food waste and yard waste is composted. Business Services collects campus surplus that can be redistributed, sold, or donated to encourage reuse. Environmental Health & Safety collects batteries, bulbs and hazardous waste.
Hydration Stations provide an opportunity for students, faculty, staff, and visitors to enjoy cold, filtered water without needing to buy bottled water. This reduces waste, conserves water, and saves money for users. Housing has installed hydration stations on throughout the residence halls, while Associated Students and Facilities Services have partnered to provide them across campus.
Facilities Services custodial and landscape services staff collects general recycling and waste from across campus. To improve sorting, recycling containers use clear bags and landfill containers use black bags. Custodians place the bins into their carts and then to the dumpsters. Recycling containers and dumpsters are blue while landfill containers and dumpsters are typically black. This provides a chain of custody throughout the process to ensure that recyclables end up at a recycling facility and get turned into new items. You may see custodians put black and clear bags into the same cart. These bags are separated at the dumpster.
SDSU has an advanced system to measure recycling. Each time a recycling or landfill dumpster is emptied, the contents are weighed. This allows us to measure recycling/diversion rates on an almost building level basis. A diversion rate is the percentage of material that does not end up in the landfill. This includes material that is recycled, composted, or reused.
During move-in 2016, 98.6% of all materials generated was recycled! For move-out in 2015, 70% of materials was either recycled or donated to the Disabled American Veterans and the San Diego Food Bank.
Sustainable SDSU has partnered with students to develop wraps to beautify older concrete recycling bins. The first design was selected from a contest and the most recent have come from a partnership with Prof. Gary Benzel's graphic design class.
Take charge of reducing waste in your own life by adopting the following practices.
1. Bring your own water bottle, cup, straw, utensils, to-go container, and bag with you when you leave the house.
2. Only buy items that you know you will use for a long time. If you aren't using an item that you own, find it a second home by giving it to a friend, trading it, selling it, or lastly donating it.
3. Shop for package-free produce and bring your own bags
4. Use cloths and rags instead of paper napkins and paper towels
5. Reduce food waste by eating your leftovers, buying only as much food as you will use, and composting food scraps