Santa Clara University

sustainability at scu

Recyclable Items at SCU

  • compostComposting

    SCU is currently working with its hauler, Mission Trail Waste Systems, to develop a composting program. We currently accept compostable waste from the Benson Kitchen, MarketPlace dining area, all residence halls and campus buildings, as well as some restrooms (paper towels). Roughly 28% of our waste is composted.

    View an image of items that can be composted on campus.

  • greenwasteGreen waste

    There are two places SCU sends our landscaping "green" waste (tree trimmings, grass clippings, etc.). Trimmings from trees and shrubs are put in a wood chipper and turned into mulch or ground cover for use on campus. Using green waste as ground cover reduces weed propagation and evaporation, which in turn reduce the use of herbicides and decrease landscaping watering needs.

    All remaining green waste is picked up by GreenWaste Recovery and used as landfill cover.

  • plastic bottlesRecyclable materials

    SCU recycles plastic (including film plastics when bundled in a clear plastic bag and knotted at the top), glass, metal (including tin cans), aluminum cans, mixed paper (including shoe boxes, magazines, junk mail, white/colored paper, and corrugated cardboard. SCU recycled 325 tons of materials in 2011.

    Recycling is picked up by GreenWaste Recovery and Mission Trail Waste Systems.

    View an image of items that are recycled as "single-stream" recycling.

  • chemicalsHazardous waste

    The Chemistry department substitutes 'greener' reagents when possible, converted to microscale organic chemistry experiments (to reduce waste), and some wet chemical experiments are replaced with computer modeling. Students can bring universal waste items to receptacles at the residence hall reception desks, and faculty can request a pickup from the Facilities department. Recognizing this substantial amount, SCU has began a chemical inventory system.

    The University via the Director, Environmental Health and Safety Department schedules a hazardous materials pick-up four times each year to remove hazardous waste from the campus. Normal contributors are the School of Arts and Science (Art and Art History, Biology, Chemistry, and Physics), School of Engineering (Mechanical and Civil Engineering Departments), and University Operations Division (Facilities Department). EHS performs these tasks using a commercial contractor: All Chemical Disposal, Inc. 21 Great Oaks Blvd, San Jose, CA 95119. All Chemical Disposal is licensed to collect, transport, and process waste through other commercial contractors specializing in waste disposal processing.

  • ewasteElectronic waste

    To mitigate the growing problem of electronic waste, Information Technology operates the PC Replacement Program with donates roughly 600 computers to local non-profit organizations each year.
  • filterHVAC Filter Waste

    SCU sends our old air filters to Environmental Filtration, Inc. where they are combusted at a high temperature, creating steam that turns turbines to generate electricity. In 2010, SCU diverted 1.72 tons of filter waste from the landfill and generated 1032 kWh of energy.

  • landfill wasteNon-recyclable waste

    In 2011, SCU disposed of 1,323 tons of landfill waste, roughly 332 pounds per capita. In 2005, SCU disposed of 1,344 tons of landfill waste, roughly 381 pounds per capita.

    View an image of items that cannot be composted or recycled on campus.