Rethink Waste

Rethink Waste at Gonzaga is a campaign led by students to promote consciousness and educate our community about waste diversion. This page will give you details regarding recycling and composting on campus.

Recycling 

Gonzaga now uses single-stream recycling! Any recyclable item (see list below) can be placed in any recycling bin, whether in a classroom, hallway, outside, or office.
All objects must be clean and emptied before recycling. Faculty and staff can request a small blue recycling bin for their offices from Plant Services  at mailto:customerservice@plant.gonzaga.edu.

Paper
Newspaper, Printing Paper, Cups, Cartons, Magazines, Advertisements, Boxes

(Shredded paper must be put in a plastic bag)

Plastic
Bottles, Jars, Cups and Tubs

(All plastic numbers are now accepted)


Paper

plasticbottles

Glass
Bottles

Metal
Cans

glass bottles

cans

Composting

Composting turns organic materials ready for disposal into something beneficial; nutrient rich soil that help to grow fruitful plants. Although one may think that these items readily decompose in landfills, the decomposition process releases greenhouse gases such as methane into our atmosphere. Food and yard waste also can leach into the ground water polluting our waters.  During the decomposition of organic matter, microorganisms such as bacteria and fungi create a nutrient rich substance called humus that can be harvested if separated from other wastes. The decomposition process also happens much more quickly as the compostable material is not contaminated by other waste. As such not only does composting reduce pressure on landfills, it also helps return nutrients to the soils used to sustain life!

Yard Debris
Organics
Food-soiled Paper

Grass, leaves, weeds

Meat, poultry, fish, beans

Greasy pizza delivery boxes, Coffee filters

Pine needles, pine cones

Dairy products

Certified Compostable items (most catering items by ZagDining are compostable!)

Thatch, vines

Fruit, vegetables

Paper towels, napkins

Plant trimmings

Breads, grains, pastas

Paper cartons (for eggs, berries, etc)

Small amounts of sod - no rocks

Eggshells, nutshells

Uncoated paper plates, paper cups

Branches less than 3" in diameter

Coffee grounds, tea bags

Paper grocery bags with food scraps

More information about recycling:

Don't Recycle
Non-Accepted Paper
  • Food-soiled paper towels, napkins and non-coated paper plates (compost these)
  • Tyvek Envelopes
Non-Accepted Plastics
  • Plastic damshel containers and deli trays
  • Plastic Plates, utensils
  • Prescription Vials
  • Styrofoam
Non-Accepted Glass
  • Ceramics
  • Broken glass
  • Dishes, drinking glasses
  • Windows, mirrors
Non-Accepted Metal
  • Sharp metal
  • Greasy Items
Other Non-Acceptables
  • Clothing, Shoes (donate these)
  • Electronics (see IT in downstairs Foley)
  • Fluorescent bulbs and tubes (recycling options takeitbacknetwork.org)
  • Hoses
  • Needles, Syringes (disposal options: medwastewm.com)
  • Toxic Containers (pesticides, antifreeze, paint, oil, etc.)


Recycling Batteries

he University has disposal sites set up through out the campus for used batteries. Located in the following locations are orange buckets marked Battery Recycle that are picked up and recycled properly:

  • Business Service Center – 1st Floor Center of Hall
  • College Hall – By elevator on Lower Level, 1st and 2nd Floors
  • Crosby Student Center – North Entrance
  • Foley Center – Faculty Break Room (301), By Main Entrance
  • Health Center – Lower Level by side door
  • Honors – North Entrance Next to Printer
  • Hughes – West entrance – 1st Floor
  • Jepson – East Main Entrance
  • Law School – By Elevator on lower level, 1st and 2nd Floors and Loading Dock
  • Martin Center – North – 3rd Floor Entrance
  • McCarthey Center – Club Room Storage
  • Music Mansion – Hall by 1st Floor Restroom
  • Plant Services – Break Room
  • Rosauer Center (SOE) – North Entrance
  • Robinson – Lower Level Recycling Room
  • Schoenberg Center – 1st Floor Lobby
  • Tilford – South Entrance and Main Entrance
  • Women Studies – Back Entrance
If you have a large volume that will not fit in these buckets, please put a work order in with Customer Service to have them picked up and recycled.

Recycling and Environmental Facts

  • Recycling 1 ton of paper saves 17 trees, 2 barrels of oil (enough to run the average car for 1,260 miles), 4,100 kilowatts of energy (enough power for the average home for 6 months), 3.2 cubic yards of landfill space, and 60 pounds of air pollution. Trash to Cash
  • Americans throw away enough aluminum to rebuild our entire commercial fleet of airplanes every 3 months. Environmental Defense Fund
  • About 80% of what Americans throw away is recyclable, yet our recycling rate is just 28%. Environmental Protection Agency
  • Over ½ million trees are saved each year by recycling paper in Boulder County. Eco-Cycle
  • There are more roads in our National Forests than the entire U.S. Interstate Highway system. National Forest Protection Alliance
  • Recycling creates 6 times as many jobs as landfill. Colorado Recycles
  • Recycling glass instead of making it from silica sand reduces mining waste by 70%, water use by 50%, and air pollution by 20%. Environmental Defense Fund
  • Recycling just one aluminum can saves enough energy to operate a TV for 3 hours. Eco-Cycle
  • If we recycled all of the newspapers printed in the U.S. on a typical Sunday, we would save 550,000 trees--or about 26 million trees per year. California Department of Conservation
  • The energy saved each year by steel recycling is equal to the electrical power used by 18 million homes each year - or enough energy to last Los Angeles residents for eight years. Steel Recycling Institute
  • If every household in the U.S. replaced just one roll of 1,000 sheet virgin fiber bathroom tissues with 100% recycled ones, we could save: 373,000 trees, 1.48 million cubic feet of landfill space, and 155 million gallons of water. Seventh Generation Co.
  • The U.S. is 5% of the world's population but uses 25% of its natural resources. Environmental Protection Agency

Why Recycle?
"The U.S. recycling industry consists of approximately 29,345 establishments, that employ over 950,000 people, generate an annual payroll of nearly $34 billion, and gross over $222 billion in annual revenues. The reuse industry employs nearly 170,000 workers in more than 26,000 establishments, supports an annual payroll of over $2.7 billion, and generates more than $14.1 billion in revenues."

Additional Information about composting

What Is Composting?

Composting is sustainable way to discard your food scraps and yard waste. Throwing these items away contributes to the problem of our overfilling landfills. By composting we can reduce our yard waste volume by 50-75% (www.ext.colostate.edu). Although one may think that these items readily decompose in landfills, the decomposition process releases greenhouse gases such as methane into our atmosphere. Food and yard waste also can leach into the ground water polluting our waters. During the decomposition of organic matter, microorganisms such as bacteria and fungi create a nutrient rich substance called humus that can be harvested if separated from other wastes. The decomposition process also happens much more quickly as the compostable material is not contaminated by other waste.

Compost Cycle

Why Compost?

Composting organic material allows for its use in gardens and agricultural areas where the soil can benefit from the nutrients found in the humus. According to the EPA, compost has been shown to suppress plant diseases and pests, reduce or eliminate the need for chemical fertilizers, and promote higher yields of agricultural crops.  It also allows for the retention of water in the soil allowing for a reduction in the amount of water used. Compost has also been shown to reduce the likelihood of soil erosion and has curbed the flow of pollutants to streams and plants. (http://www.epa.gov/osw/conserve/rrr/composting/benefits.htm)

In Spokane, the composting situation is unique as Barr-Tech a regional facility composts Spokane's and Gonzaga's yard and food waste. At the facility, the energy and gases created during the composting process not only power the facility, but they also use the energy to grow fruits and vegetables in their greenhouse. Thus, in Spokane, diverting compost not only produces nutrient rich soil, but it also produces food and energy. (To learn more about the Barr-Tech facility visit their website at http://www.barr-tech.net).

Composting At Gonzaga

Currently Sodexo and Plant Services are working to divert food and yard waste. Currently, Sodexo composts all of the food waste in the main dining hall. They achieve this by not having any garbage cans in the dining facility itself.  Instead students’ waste goes to the back where Sodexo employees separate the compostable waste from trash. Spike’s and Subconnection only use compostable to-go materials.  In these facilities, there are separate containers in which compostable items can be discarded. Check out their website, at http://www.zagdining.com/sustainability/index.html to learn more about the efforts Sodexo is making in to rethink waste.

Plant Services has provided Gonzaga Students the opportunity to compost outside of the dining experience.  With containers placed behind residence halls, Cataldo, and the Sharp-Boone Allyway for students to have access to composting their waste.  Plant services also uses these containers when disposing of the yard waste they collect when maintaining Gonzaga’s grounds.  


If you have questions or comments, please contact us at sustainability@gonzaga.edu