Campus

Campus recycling: single-stream recycling program

Marquette has been recycling since the early 1990s, making it one of the earlier recycling programs on a university campus.  Beginning as a co-mingled recycling program, Marquette switched to single-stream recycling in 2009. 

Single stream recycling is a system that allows you to throw all approved recyclables into the same container.  This means that paper, cardboard, newspapers, magazines, plastic bottles, shampoo bottles, water bottles, aluminum cans, steel cans, bi-metal cans, glass bottles/jugs/jars can all be thrown into the blue recycling bins.  All the blue bins indoors and bins with blue tops outdoors, are for recycling only.  In addition to all materials going into the same bin, the new system allows for plastic grades 1 through 7 to be recycled as well. 

Please visit the single-stream recycling page for more information on recycling at Marquette. 

Composting

In collaboration with the local organization Kompost Kids, Inc., Marquette began a pre-consumer composting pilot program at the Straz Tower dining gall in fall 2011.  Because of the pilot’s success, it was decided to expand the program campus-wide.  In order to handle the additional pre-consumer food waste volume, Marquette partnered with Growing Power.  Growing Power now collects pre-consumer food waste from all residential dining locations, the Tory Hill Café and the AMU.  All coffee beans from the Brew Cafés are collected as well.    Some recent composting statistics include: 

Fall 2013: in pounds

Location
July
Aug.
Sept.
Oct.
Nov.
Dec.
Total
AMU
na
-
2500
3150
5650
Cobeen
na
0
1550
1600
3150
Mashuda
na
-
400
1500
1900
McCormick
na
100
1450
1650
3200
Schroeder
na
500
700
750
1950
Straz
na
400
1700
1500
3600
Tory Hill
na
-
2750
2250
5000
Total
-
1000
11050
12400
24450

Spring 2013: in pounds

Location
Jan.
Feb.
March
April
May
June
Total
AMU
2300
2350
2050
4000
-
na
10700
Cobeen
900
1500
1050
1250
-
na
4700
Mashuda
700
1200
800
1600
-
na
4300
McCormick
550
1650
1400
1850
-
na
5450
Schroeder
550
1550
800
1200
-
na
4100
Straz
1200
1650
1100
1600
-
na
5550
Tory Hill
650
1600
1850
2250
-
na
6350
Total
6850
11500
9050
13750
6400
-
47550

 

Electronic waste recycling (eWaste)

The Purchasing Department coordinates two types of electronic waste recycling programs for university-owned equipment.  Marquette’s first priority is to determine if any electronics can be refurbished for reuse.  For that, Marquette partners with Digital Workforce Education Society (DWES).  DWES will pick up old computers and equipment, refurbish them, and then use them in their workforce training centers as well as donate to churches, schools and other non-profit organizations.

If the equipment cannot be reused, Marquette’s waste hauler, Advanced Disposal, will bring a 20 yard dumpster to campus to collect departmental electronics for recycling.  This occurs once or twice per semester.  Campus departments are notified prior to the dumpster delivery and are asked to prepare electronics bundles for recycling.  Facilities Services then picks up the bundles for participating departments and puts them in the dumpster.  Once full, Advanced Disposal removes the dumpster for recycling. 

In addition to recycling university-owned equipment, Facilities Services, the Office of Sustainability and Advanced Disposal teamed up to offer free personal electronics recycling for all students, faculty and staff in Spring 2013.  This was the first such event on Marquette’s campus and offered an opportunity for those campus members to clean out their homes and get rid of some of their non-working or obsolete electronics.  We plan to explore the possibility of hosting another similar event in the future.  Please contact us to share your ideas regarding such an event.  

Surplus furniture program

The Purchasing Department has a long history of trying to reduce the campus waste stream (and help save money).  One of their programs to help reduce waste is the Surplus Equipment website.  This page is meant to help showcase equipment no longer being used from one department and move it to another department that can use it. 

Supply swaps

The Purchasing Department also partners with OfficeMax to host bi-annual Supply Swaps.  The Supply Swaps are intended to reallocate office supplies from departments that don’t need them to departments that can use them.  During the Supply Swap week, departments bring any office supplies they are not using to a designated central location.  These office supplies are then organized and their values calculated by a team from OfficeMax.  The next day, departments are then allowed to come “shop” for any supplies they need.  Any supplies left over are donated to local organizations for use. 

Supply swap events are announced in News Briefs. 

Waste Reduction

In order to reduce waste in the most environmentally-friendly ways possible, we look to the Waste Management Hierarchy:

[EPA: Waste Management Hierarchy]


For the time being we will focus on the most preferred methods: source reduction (reduce), reuse and recycle.  These are often referred to as the 3 Rs. 

Reduce:  One of the easiest ways to reduce your waste is to try and prevent it in the first place.  If we do not purchase or acquire something, we will not need to dispose of it in the future.  Sometimes disregarded, you do not just pay the purchase price when you buy something.  You also need to pay to have it disposed of.  At Marquette this equates into tipping fees and tonnage landfilled.  The more we dispose of, the more we pay. 

The easiest way to combat this is to prevent that waste in the first place.  Before purchasing something, ask yourself if this is something you need.  If you do need it, can you acquire a used or unused version of the item from somewhere else?  This helps you save on cost and reduces the amount of resources required to manufacture a brand new product.  If you don’t need it, don’t purchase it.  This can be tremendously beneficial to the environment and your wallet. 

Reuse:  Before throwing anything away, ask if it can be reused instead.  Can you trade or sell the good?  Can you repair it yourself in case it is broken so you don’t need to purchase a new one?  Can you donate it?  Trading sites, donation sites and DIY repair websites abound on the internet.  Not to mention you can earn some money or a new product through trading and selling or feel the satisfaction of repairing something on your own.  In addition, local organizations are always looking for donated goods, and such generosity cannot be overlooked. 

Recycle: If you needed to purchase the good, and it can’t be reused, your next best option is to recycle the product if you can.  This is superior to landfilling in that the recycled material will end up as an input into manufacturing a new product, or the same product (aluminum cans are infinitely recyclable).  In order to ensure you’re recycling properly, please familiarize yourself with Marquette’s single-stream system and your own municipal system. 

Reduce, reuse, recycle resources

College & University Recycling Coalition
Earth 911
EPA - WasteWise
iFixit
Milwaukee Recycling
National Recycling Coalition
Story of Stuff
Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources
Zero Waste Home

Donations:

If there are other locations you would like to add to this list, please contact us.


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Contact the Office of Sustainability

Is this site missing any information you would like to see? Is it missing your program or another program on campus that should be featured? Do you have suggestions for making Marquette a more sustainable university? If so, please contact us:

Email: sustainability@marquette.edu
Phone: 414-288-1463