Recycling Behind the Scenes at WUSM

The Sustainability Champions are a group of Washington University School of Medicine custodians dedicated to sustainability. They ensure that your recycling makes the journey from your desk or lab to the dumpster for transport. Our custodians are committed to keeping our campus clean and safe. We would like to give a special thank you to […]

Housekeeper Naila Smajic’s Unique Approach to Recycling Education

Have you ever seen a contaminated recycling bin and felt a twinge in your heart? Perhaps given it a sad look, sighed, and moved on? It is a common reaction, but one that Naila Smajic transcended. A staff member on the Housekeeping team on the South 40, Smajic encounters a lot of misrouted waste, yet […]

Holiday Lights Recycling Drive

Wondering what to do with your old or unworkable holiday lights? You can recycle them! The annual Holiday Lights Recycling Drive returns to Washington University this winter. The drive runs December 6, 2021 through January 31, 2022. A holiday tradition, the WashU community brings in hundreds of pounds of holiday lights to responsibly recycle – […]

Share Our Stuff – Where Does It All Go?

The end of the academic year is quickly approaching. Pretty soon it will be time for students to pack up and scatter across the globe, wherever their summer or graduation plans may take them. Since many WashU students come from farther than a packed car-ride away, it is not practical to ship or store their […]

WashU Green Ambassadors Lead by Example

Move in 2018

This August, a new cohort of WashU Green Ambassadors started their journey to spread sustainability culture on campus with a two-day retreat at Shaw Nature Reserve. During this retreat, the Green Ambassadors connected over team-building activities and received training in various aspects of sustainability at WashU, including green buildings, waste-sorting, alternative transportation, and dining. This […]

Changes in the Recycling Industry Raise the Bar for Waste Sorting on Campus

[Pile of plastics in China – Photo Credit: Fred Dufour/Agence France-Presse] In 2010, WashU made the transition to single-stream recycling on all campuses, making it easy and convenient for the university community to recycle. At the time, this change helped the university to nearly double consumer waste diversion. Today, about 42% of the waste generated by […]

Recycling Genius Lunch & Learns Summer Series

This summer the Office of Sustainability will be hosting a series of Recycling Genius Lunch & Learns. The Recycling Genius training consists of a brief, yet in-depth, training on what can be recycled and composted and why. Once you are trained as a Recycling Genius, you can provide presentations to groups (like your office) or […]

Share Our Stuff 2018: Seeking Volunteers!

SWAP is getting ready for Share Our Stuff, its end-of-semester donation initiative, and is looking for volunteers! Partnering with WashU ResLife, the Office of Sustainability, and WashU Facilities, SWAP is mobilizing a campus-wide (and off-campus WashU owned) collection for anything usable that would otherwise be thrown out. How it works: Donation bins will be placed […]

Offer Reusable to Cut Down on Disposable

When she joined Washington University in late October of 2016, Michelle Gelven quickly noticed the large boxes of plastic cutlery available in the Alumni & Development’s common kitchen. While many of her colleagues bring prepared meals in a reusable container, avoiding the use of a disposable box, most of them were still using single-use cutlery […]

RecycleMania 2018

For the past few years, WashU has participated in an annual recycling competition with over two hundred colleges and universities across the US and Canada. This year’s eight-week competition kicked off last Sunday, February 4th, and will continue through March 31st. With each participating college reporting detailed waste reduction and diversion statistics, each week poses […]

Green Ambassador Program Recruits Directors

The WUGA program (Washington University Green Ambassadors) is currently seeking applicants for two student director positions. The WUGA program is a student-led, peer-education program supported by the Office of Sustainability that orients new students to sustainable living practices at  WashU. WUGAs play a critical role in training first year student to adopt behaviors that align […]

Luncheon Honors Green Office Liaisons and Recruits Participants

On July 12, the Office of Sustainability hosted a Green Office Program luncheon for Green Office Liaisons and potential program participants. The goal of the Green Office Program is to set a framework and provide resources for offices across Washington University campuses to significantly reduce the environmental footprint of our university community. Since the start […]

Become a Recycling Genius

In the fall of 2016, the Office of Sustainability introduced a new volunteer program called Recycling Geniuses in response to recurring contamination issues across campus. A significant number of recycling and compost loads were being rejected from their respective collection facilities due to cross-contamination with other waste and improper sorting. The WashU community is committed to lowering contamination rates, […]

Wrapper Recycling Program Expanded

Alpha Phi Omega (APO) is WashU’s community service fraternity. Last spring, members started a program to collect granola and protein bar wrappers. The project keeps foil-lined wrappers out of the landfill. Most recycling companies, including WashU’s provider, do not accept foil-lined wrappers because they are too costly to sort. By having participants pre-sort the waste, TerraCycle […]

New Volunteer Program Launched for Peer-to-Peer Recycling Education

The Office of Sustainability is excited to introduce a new volunteer program, Recycling Geniuses, which has been developed to help address waste contamination on campus. Recycling Geniuses will receive training on new recycling guidelines and will help with a three-week education blitz in key dining areas.  The Recycling Genius program was developed in response to […]

Zero Waste Events: Commencement & Staff Day

The end of the 2016 academic year was marked with celebrations across campus. Two of the most notable celebrations, Commencement and Staff Day, were carefully organized to reflect the values of the university, with sustainability playing a key role in planning and decision-making. Commencement Numerous partners came together to plan and execute the waste diversion effort […]