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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.