Denison aims to be a Zero Waste campus
Through, recycling, composting, reuse of usable materials and efficient sourcing and purchasing of goods and materials, Denison aims to be a Zero Waste campus. Each year we make great strides forward, but there is always more to be done. Denison has a number of initiatives that help to reduce waste on campus while also benefiting the college and local community.
ANNUAL EVENTS - RECYCLING & WASTE REDUCTION
Zero Waste Events
On Earth Day, April 22, 2016, Denison held its first ever Zero Waste event. Denison’s annual Aestavalia campus celebration was organized to be an earth-friendly event. Menus were designed to eliminate the need for utensils, cups, plates. Napkins were compostable and materials for games and activities were selected so that they could either be reused or recycled. In all, Denison was able to divert more than 60 percent of the waste created by this event from landfills - effectively doubling our normal diversion rate.
Denison Food Recovery Network
We partner with the Alford Community Leadership & Involvement Center and with the national nonprofit Food Recovery Network to repurpose leftover food from the dining halls. Student volunteer organize and provide the leftovers to six local organizations that feed food insecure populations. Our program was so successful (being the first chapter in Ohio, and the first in the country to successfully use reusable containers) that the Alford Community Leadership & Involvement Center hired a student worker, Rachel Auerbach, to manage the program, and she won a prestigious award for her leadership of the program, which recovered over 10,000 lbs of food over the 2014-2015 academic year. Rachael also was selected as the 2016 R.J. Dannemiller award recipient for her efforts. Denison was able to continue the program during the summer, thanks to a partnership with the Events and Scheduling Office, saving an additional 2,300 lbs of food.
Denison Office Supply Exchange
Every year Denison faculty and staff take part in an office supply exchange or “freecycle” where office supplies that are no longer needed in one office or department are exchanged with another office. Items exchanged include pens, pencils and folders, printer cartridges and even desk organizers. By taking part in the exchange, offices are able to save resources and reduce department purchasing for items that are already in stock on campus.
Denison Surplus Sale
Each year the Purchasing Office at Denison conducts a surplus sale of used items that the college no longer needs or intends to use. These items generally include: file cabinets, desks, tables, chairs, bed frames, mattresses, and various other residential hall and office materials. Items can be purchased by Denison employees and nonprofit organizations that service the local community. The goal of the sale is not necessarily to generate funds, but rather to ensure that usable items are not thrown into the trash or kept in storage until they become too old to be of value. The surplus sale is one of many ways that Denison works towards reducing its waste and impact on the environment.
In an effort to reduce waste and encourage recycling and the reuse of discarded or unwanted items, Denison’s Facilities Department organizes two annual events - Operation Move-In and Operation Move-Out.
Operation Move-In occurs in the beginning of the academic year. As students move into their residence halls, they often have extra boxes and bins. Facilities designates areas behind each residence hall to collect these items and any other unwanted items for charity or recycling.
Operation Move-Out occurs annually at the end of the academic year. Collection tables are placed in every residence hall to hold discarded items that are still usable. Starting on the last day of classes, students can deposit their items in the designated location. Facilities staff and various student volunteers collect the items and bring them to a central storage area on campus. Once collection is complete, local service agencies come and pick up the unwanted items. This year more 20 organizations made use of this program.
DOWS Book Sale
Every year, right before spring break, Denison Operating Work Staff (DOWS) holds a sale in Slayter Union. Doanted Books, videos, and DVDs are sold to students, faculty and staff. The DOWS book sale is a great way to pick up a spring-break read and to promote the reuse of materials and lowers the amount of good reads that are thrown away.
Denison recycles well over 250 tons of material annually. Our commingled recycling process allows you to put any recyclable material into any labeled bin on campus. We then either sort it on campus in our own on-campus recycling center or we send it to a facility to be sorted out and recycled.
What can be recycled on campus is constantly evolving. The college makes every attempt to identify viable outlets for its waste material. Here’s a snapshot of what can be recycled on campus. For a more comprehensive list, consult the Campus Guide to Recycling & Waste Disposal.