Materials & Recycling at Dickinson
Waste Minimization & Diversion are Key Strategies Across Campus
Dickinson is committed to reducing materials consumption, reusing materials, recycling and composting. We are also committed to using sustainable ‘green’ products.
Printing: Paper use was reduced when unlimited free printing by students was replaced in 2009 by a policy that allows each student to print up to 600 pages without charge each semester and then charges a fee for printing beyond that amount. The revised policy cut student paper use by nearly 60%, saving an estimated $35,000 and 89 trees per year. A new print management system implemented in summer 2012 is reducing paper use by college faculty and staff.
Recycling: Dickinson changed to a single-stream recycling system in 2011, which makes recycling easier by eliminating the need to sort recyclable materials. Paper, cardboard, plastics (#1-#7), glass and metals are collected in recycling receptacles that are located on every floor/hall of student residence halls, academic and administrative buildings, and over 30 outdoor locations. We also have programs for recycling batteries, electronic waste, and printer cartridges. 150 tons of materials, representing approximately one-fourth of our solid waste, is diverted from landfills by recycling at Dickinson each year.
Composting: All food waste from the dining hall is collected, pulped, and sent to the college farm for composting, where it is used to improve the soils. This system cut the volume of waste sent to the landfill from dining services by 50%, diverting 1 dumpster of waste each day, or 96 tons each year. The financially savings is over $10,000 annually, not including electricity & water savings from the elimination of food disposals. Students also collect food waste from residence halls for composting at the farm. Check out this student-produced video on the Dickinson's Composting Program.
Reuse: Students donate unwanted furniture, appliances, clothes, food and school supplies in the annual U-Turn yard sale that benefits the local United Way. Each year, 3 or 4 tractor-trailers of materials are collected. The sale of the collected items raises $15,000 or more for local charities.
Purchasing: All paper purchased by the college has 30% recycled content and is FSC certified. Dickinson purchases EPEAT-certified computers, and all purchased cleaning products are Green Seal Certified or biorenewable. We purchase furniture and flooring that are made with sustainable materials and manufacturing processes.