College, University Recyclers Set the Stage for Generation ‘Green’

Multi-bin recycling is a key to zero-waste strategies.
ISTC’s Zero Waste Program is innovating on the University of Illinois campus as a partner of student and administration leadership

College and university administrators going to the Illinois Recycling Association’s (IRA) June workshops for higher education will be inspired by the great ideas included on The Best Colleges dot org website.

ISTC is one of the sponsors of two training workshops for Illinois colleges and universities on planning, audits, analyzing data and other issues. Kennedy-King College will host a workshop for the City College of Chicago from 9 a.m. – 3 p.m. Wednesday, June 10. The deadline to register is June 10. Illinois Central College will be the site of the second workshop from 9 a.m. – 3 p.m. Wednesday, June 17. (Meet in the morning at nearby Embassy Suites, East Peoria.)  The deadline for that one is June 12. The East Peoria workshop is conveniently scheduled the day before the IRA/ILCSWMA/SWANA Annual Joint Conference. For more information and to register, visit

As far as hip green universities go, we can all envy UC Davis’ commitment to zero-waste, which they plan to achieve by 2020. They have had their version of the U of I’s ‘Dump and Run’ since 1975. Such programs allow students to ‘donate’ good stuff they don’t want to take home and sell it back to other students next semester.

Maine’s College of the Atlantic is another beacon of greenness, where students recycling enterprise is ubiquitous.  It is easy to recycle on campus and reportedly, no pizza crusts ever escape the compost bins.

Here in Illinois, take notes from Loyola University Chicago, which is featured in the latest One Billion Gallon Water Challenge Research Update. Faculty, students and staff there are the focus of experiments to improve water conservation behavior on campus. Their goal is to save up to three million gallons of water a year. They are designing a Resource Tool Kit to share their results with other Illinois colleges and universities.

Talk about student leadership of the green hue, it is hard to beat the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign where year’s ago students voted to charge themselves a Sustainability Fee. Since then the Student Sustainability Committee has used the fee to drive green initiatives in many fruitful directions. Read here some recent results of their leadership.