Keep calm and recycle on

Wasteaudit               DSC_0223

Since 2013, Facilities Services, the Sustainability Office, student sustainability reps (S-Reps), and representatives from Casella Waste Systems have organized annual on-campus waste audits to track how much recyclable material is being thrown away in our landfill bins. During each audit, a landfill bin from the Sussman Apartment Village and the Williamson Sports Center are dumped and sorted by enthusiastic students and staff donned in white jumpsuits, wearing protective gloves and glasses. The results from each audit help inform future outreach and education efforts, and provide insight into potential improvements to campus signage and waste policies. These audits, in conjunction with our transition to Zero-Sort recycling, have helped Skidmore nearly double our recycling rates since 2013.

The information collected during these waste audits play a crucial part in developing strategies that will allow Skidmore to meet our waste goals laid out in the 2015 Campus Sustainability Plan. Trends from the last three years show that we’re continuing to improve, but there is still work to be done.

This spring, the S-Reps are launching a semester-long education campaign focused on Skidmore’s Zero-Sort recycling program and the impacts of waste on our environment and communities. S-Reps will work to motivate and inform our campus community to reuse and recycle more often, while also minimizing overall consumption. To stay informed on their efforts this semester, please visit and follow our Facebook page.

One Reply to “Keep calm and recycle on”

  1. I’d love to see this experiment of examining waste expanded to academic areas that, likely, create more than others – the Art Dept. (and I would think, the Lab Sciences, and, perhaps, Theater?) – these areas have unique challenges in regard to how “stuff” is necessary to be used and discarded in carrying out their work but also represent large concentrations of students and the “products” of what they do. In art it is a range of all manner of material used to support making as well as exercises not kept after making (plus all of the usual waste/recycling).
    I also have a question about metal recycling and what happens to things like broken furniture and the like. Could there be info on what to do with this?

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