Going green requires a holistic approach involving a wide range of components. It goes beyond recycling and energy conservation to ensure that every resource is carefully managed and developed across campus.

Dining

Bon Appétit, the food service provider for St. Edward's University, offers delicious and convenient food, while practicing social responsibility, aligning with the university's commitment to sustainability. Check out Bon Appétit's commitment to the environment and community. Among many dining initiatives, "Why Buy Local" underpins the Eat Local Challenge, which is held every year on campus.

Another healthy eating option here on the hilltop is the Farm to Work program. Sign up each week to get a basket of fresh produce delivered to you from a local farmer! Click here for more information and to sign up.

Composting

Wild Basin Creative Research Center, our catering team at Bon Appétit, and our Grounds, Maintenance, and Facilities departments have joined forces to bring composting to campus:

  • Keep your eyes out for the green bags placed in each of the restroom trash bins on campus as they take paper hand towels that are compostable! You can put small bits of food waste, such as a banana peel, or old flowers from campus events in there as well. The Maintenance team will remove the bags and ensure that they are properly composted instead of being thrown in a garbage can.
  • The Grounds department takes lawn trimmings from the property on I-35 and composts them, which keeps that cut grass out of landfills and puts them to good use.
  • In January of 2013, Bon Appétit teamed up with a third party to introduce composting bins on campus in Hunt Hall, The Huddle, and South Congress Market. The bins are clearly marked to describe what can and cannot be thrown into them. Besides food waste, you can put discarded to-go containers and paper napkins in them. More information, including a helpful infographic, can be found here.
  • The Wild Basin Creative Research Center has composting toilets in the main buildings on site. These toilets are low-maintenance organic waste treatment systems that use biological decomposition to convert toilet waste into a small amount of safe, stabilized end-product. They use no water, whereas a normal toilet uses about 2,920 gallons per person per year. More information on these toilets and the other ways in which the Wild Basin is staying sustainable can be found here.

Recycling

Single-Stream Recycling:

Single-stream recycling bins are located throughout the campus and are designated as blue or green or have the sticker identifying them. Blue or Green bins are for paper, glass, cans, plastic, and flattened cardboard. No plastic bags are allowed because they jam the machines that separate the recycled materials. Pizza boxes cannot be recycled either because they have been contaminated by food. Recyclable paper items include binders, legal pads, folders, newspapers, posters, fliers, receipts (which can include staples, binders, or spiral ring binders). Gray bins are for trash only!

Batteries and Ink/Toner Cartridges:

Ink/toner cartridges and batteries can be sent to a recycling facility for free. Just take your empty cartridge or dead battery to the Copy Center. Be sure to follow these guidelines when recycling batteries.

Styrofoam:

The School of Natural Sciences and the Office of Sustainability launched a Styrofoam recycling pilot program in the summer of 2014 to decrease the amount of waste that goes to the landfill. All university departments are encouraged to participate in the program. It is free. Styrofoam can be brought to Biology Laboratory Coordinator Emily Hooser Hartman's office in John Brooks Williams Sciences Center North, room 224, every Friday between 9:00 AM and 4:00 PM. Everything that is collected will be brought to a local facility to be properly recycled. Remove all tape and labels as they will damage the Styrofoam shredding machine. No food cartons or packing peanuts. The university Post Office might take packing peanuts if they are in need of some. Clear plastic bags are preferred.

Trash:

Gray bins are for all the remainder (trash) and anything with food products. Any corn-based or bio plastics go in the gray bins. DO NOT put trash in the blue and green bins. Once the recycling bin contains any mixed trash, it can no longer be recycled.

Check out this video for more information on what and where you can recycle on campus.

Green IT

The Office of Information Technology (OIT) works to ensure sustainability plays a role in every aspect of campus technology. Power management, hardware rotation, computer imaging and technology recycling are the primary ways OIT accomplishes this goal.

Power Management
OIT explores a number of power management solutions to increase on-campus energy conservation while maintaining expected, reliable service. OIT also maintains a regular computer replacement cycle to benefit from industry advances in power efficiency. For additional information, check out this article featuring St. Edward’s by University Business Magazine.

Equipment Replacement
OIT continually evaluates existing technology to determine its useful life.  Each year, OIT provides departments with an analysis of their current tech inventory and recommended replacement cycles. OIT maintains and updates equipment until the end of its useful life.

Recycling
OIT doesn't throw away its old technology. In fact, OIT retires an estimated 20% of campus technology each year. Still-functioning computers too old to be useful on campus are donated to local school districts and/or nonprofit organizations. OIT partners with local recyclers, and these partners dispose of old technology and the associated hazardous chemicals in an environmentally responsible manner. These partners are also accredited with industry certifications for the pickup and distribution of e-waste. They deliver IT Asset Disposition, Electronics Recycling, CRT Recycling and Certified Data Destruction for the university while following environmental practices and standards.

Energy Conservation

St. Edward's University’s Facilities team takes a multipronged approach to reducing the university's energy consumption, ranging from the types of equipment used to how they are controlled. Facilities purchases electricity from clean, renewable energy sources from Austin Energy and continually invests to maximize use of existing physical plant and building mechanical systems rather than using unnecessary resources to build new ones.

Most campus buildings are cooled using chilled water that is pumped throughout the campus to reduce pumping costs. A majority of academic buildings and residence halls have web-based heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) control systems that allow monitoring and adjustment from the Facilities office.

Click here to see how ten of St. Edward's University's buildings did reducing their energy consumption during the university’s participation in Campus Conservation Nationals, the largest electricity reduction competition for colleges and universities around the world.

Water Conservation

Water is one of our most precious resources, especially in a drought-prone state like Texas. St. Edward's University recognizes this and devotes a significant portion of its resource conservation efforts towards water. Existing buildings have been retrofitted with low flow water fixtures, and new buildings must comply with current water efficient plumbing requirements. Xeriscaping or planting predominantly native vegetation with low water requirements has been another means to increase water conservation on campus. Check our blog for news on specific water conservation updates.