Colorado State University Recycling and Waste Minimization Policy

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Type: Policy

Status: Ongoing

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Recycling and waste minimization are key components to making Colorado State a more sustainable campus.

The university's first formal recycling organization, "Campus Recycle," was formed in the 1970s by a group of student volunteers. Twenty years later, with a grant from the Office of Energy Conservation, "Recycle Colorado State" was created. Today, recycling efforts at CSU have garnered annual awards in the university recycling competition, Recyclemania. Several hundred colleges compete in this competition, which is supported by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Recycling Quick Facts at CSU

  • Colorado State donates thousands of pounds a year of un-served food left over from dining halls to the Larimer County Food Bank.
  • When trees are trimmed on campus, the grounds department makes mulch from waste to use on campus grounds. This diverts more than 2,000 cubic yards from landfills.
  • More than 40 pounds of food waste a day are sent to off-campus sites where worms make compost, also called vermicomposting. Learn more.

RecycleMania University Competition
RecycleMania is a national university recycling competition that challenges institutions to collect the largest amount of recyclables, the least amount of trash, and achieve the highest recycling rate. Participating schools are required to report measurements on a weekly basis in pounds. The university that recycles the most is awarded a trophy and of course, bragging rights. Learn more.

Two hundred and one schools across the nation competed over a 10-week period in the RecycleMania 2007 competition.

Colorado State University finished 3rd in the Waste Minimization competition and 9th in the overall Grand Prize competition with a recycling rate of 41.03%, once again finishing before CU, BYU, and several Ivy League colleges. To see all the results, visit here.

Interested in cutting down your junk mail? See "Reducing Junk Mail" on the facilities site.

Leave-It-Behind Program
In an effort to divert solid waste from our landfills, the CSU Recycling Committee began working with the Facilities Management Integrated Solid Waste Department (ISW) to collect unwanted items. Items can include food, clothing, shoes, towels, dishes, lamps, desks, couches, coffee pots, and plants, among many other items. These items are collected daily by the Integrated Solid Waste Department. The CSU recycling committee partners with community agencies to redistribute these items to help meet the needs of the Fort Collins community.

Surplus Property
Surplus Property handles, disposes, and redistributes all property that the University no longer needs. The main objective is to provide an opportunity for the reallocation of still-usable items from one area of the University to others areas that have a need for them. In addition, items no longer needed by the University, are offered to the public through weekly walk-in sales, quarterly public auctions, or recycling of items that no longer have a market value. Learn more.

To learn about which materials can be recycled at CSU, visit Housing and Dining Services' Recycling page.