Recycling Program Goals

We can be greener if you help
OUR GOAL: reduce what we add to the waste stream. Instead of recycling less than 1/3 or our waste, as we do now, increase our recycling to 2/3!

Upstate's campus-wide recycling program will build on many existing recycling successes, and establish the university as a leader in sustainability.

Our goal is to shift the balance of what we add to the waste stream. Instead of recycling less than 1/3 of our output, as we do now, we want to increase our recycling to 2/3 and reduce our trash output to 1/3.

How much waste are we talking about? Almost 4 million pounds a year, or close to 2,000 tons. Meeting our goal of recycling 2/3 of that total will save Upstate about $44,000 a year in disposal costs.

But more than just financial concerns are driving this initiative. Bringing recycling to the forefront of the campus culture is our way of working toward a more sustainable planet.

In 2009 President David Smith MD signed the American College and University Presidents Climate Commitment, binding the university to a set of measurable sustainability initiatives.

Upstate's long-term goal is to adopt best practices in all areas of recycling – from the individual (food and beverage containers, office supplies) to the institution (electronics, construction materials, clinical and laboratory supplies).

With more than 8,000 employees, Upstate has an opportunity to make a significant impact on the environment and set a positive example for other employers.

"Our enhanced recycling program is another key step toward becoming a 'green' university and a community leader in sustainability," said Tom Pelis, chair of Upstate's Sustainability Task Force.