KSU generated over 1,800 tons of waste (3.7 million pounds) over the 2015 school year, an average of 110 pounds per student. Of the waste generated, KSU diverted 49% (915 tons) from the landfill through recycling and composting.
See below to learn more about KSU’s current waste minimization and waste diversion strategies.
- KSU’s Surplus department collects unused university-owned furniture and office supplies. Staff looking to swap out their desks or chairs for another set are encouraged to check here first. In addition to reducing waste, this also saves money for the department and university by reducing the amount spent on new furniture purchases.
- The Division of Facilities Services' Procurement Office uses a Just-In-Time inventory and procurement strategy to eliminate unnecessary purchases, which saves money and reduces waste.
- KSU encourages staff to consider office-sharing arrangements, particularly if both staff work from home or on the opposite campus two or more days per week. This allows KSU to minimize the need for new construction and renovation to house our growing employee base.
- The Commons and Stingers reduce food waste through small-batch cooking and the Clean Your Plate initiative.
- In 2016, Housing, Residence, Life, Campus Planning and Sustainability, and the CARE Center hosted their first “swap shop” during move-out. During this event, students were encouraged to donate items they no longer needed. These items were distributed via CARE to other students in need and to MUST Ministries. Additionally, they facilitated cardboard recycling during move-in, collecting over 4,500 pounds of cardboard.
- In 2016, the Leven School of Culinary Sustainability and Hospitality partnered with Campus Planning and Sustainability to collect pumpkin waste from the 6th annual Pumpkin Launch. They collected over 900 pounds of smashed pumpkin, which were used to feed chickens at Hickory Grove Farm.
- The Commons composts uneaten food from the dining hall.
- KSU provides different recycling options on each campus due to legacy contracts. In 2017, we expect to standardize the recycling offerings across both campuses. On both campuses, KSU uses a “mixed recycling” (AKA single-stream) method in which all recyclable items can be disposed of in the same bin. To learn more, see: Recycle Right at KSU.