Salt Lake Community College has taken huge strides toward sustainability.
At the urging of students, SLCC adopted a centralized recycling program in 2010. The student body continues to invest in the program, with each student contributing $1.50 in student fees per semester toward campus recycling.
“I often tell students, when I talk to them about recycling, that this is their program,” says Sean Stanton, recycling coordinator for SLCC. “This program belongs to the entire student body, faculty and staff here at SLCC.”
SLCC currently accepts most recyclable products, including but not limited to: all clean paper products, aluminum cans, plastic bottles, scrap metal, printer toner, batteries, motor oils, computers and other electronic items.
Since its creation, the program has saved massive amounts of waste from landfills, collecting almost 1 million pounds of recyclable material in 2015 alone.
The college is also using LED lighting in campus parking lots, walkways and interior lighting. These new options conserve over 1.2 million kilowatt hours annually and save SLCC more than $50,000 in electric bills.
All of these changes help the college serve as an example for sustainability. But despite the large amount of savings to SLCC and the environment, Stanton argues that even more can be done.
“There is no excuse to not recycle when we have over 1,300 recycling bins around nine different campuses,” he says. “Annual waste audits conducted with the Environmental Science classes reveal that 30 to 40 percent of what gets thrown in the trash here at SLCC is actually recyclable.”
Stanton wants to remind everyone on campus about the importance of recycling.
“Your simple actions can make a difference,” he says. “Think before you throw. Recycling is a huge benefit to the college and the surrounding community.”
For more information about the SLCC recycling program, or to set up recycling at a college event, contact Sean Stanton at firstname.lastname@example.org or 801-957-4242.