Going Green Requires a Holistic Approach

It goes beyond recycling and energy conservation to ensure that every resource is carefully managed and developed across campus.


Our food service provider, Bon Appétit, practices social responsibility. Learn about 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.


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

  • Green bags are placed in each of the restroom trash bins for compostable paper hand towels. You may also put small bits of food waste or old flowers in there. Maintenance removes the bags and ensures they are properly composted.
  • The Grounds department takes lawn trimmings from the I-35 property and composts them.
  • In January 2013, Bon Appétit introduced composting bins in Hunt Hall, The Huddle and South Congress Market. The bins are clearly marked so the university community knows what can and cannot be thrown into them. Besides food waste, you can put discarded to-go containers and paper napkins in them. 
  • Wild Basin 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. 


Single-Stream Recycling

Single-stream recycling bins are located throughout campus, and are designated as blue or green or have an identifying sticker. Blue and green bins are for paper, glass, cans, plastic, and flattened cardboard. Recyclable paper items include binders, legal pads, folders, newspapers, posters, fliers and receipts (which can include staples, binders or spiral ring binders). Neither plastic bags or pizza boxes can be recycled. DO NOT put trash in the blue and green bins. Once the recycling bin contains any mixed trash, it can no longer be recycled.

Batteries and Ink/Toner Cartridges

Ink/toner cartridges and batteries can be sent to a recycling facility for free. Take your empty cartridge or dead battery to the Ragsdale Center front desk (across from the cafeteria). Follow these guidelines when recycling batteries.


The School of Natural Sciences and the Office of Sustainability launched a Styrofoam recycling program in Summer 2014 to decrease the amount of landfill waste. All university departments are encouraged to participate in this free program. Bring styrofoam to:

Emily Hooser Hartman in the John Brooks Williams Sciences Center–North, either Room 286 or 224
Every Friday between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m. 

Everything collected will be taken to a local facility for proper recycling. Remove all tape and labels as they damage the styrofoam shredding machine. No food cartons or packing peanuts. The university Post Office might take packing peanuts if they are in need. Clear plastic bags are preferred.


Gray bins are for trash (including anything with food products). Any corn-based or bio plastics go in the gray bins. Watch this video to learn more about what and where you can recycle on campus.

Green IT

The Office of Information Technology (OIT) ensures 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 many 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 more information, read 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.


An estimated 20% of campus technology is retired 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

Facilities works to reduce the university's energy consumption. 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 Facilities.

See how 10 St. Edward's University buildings reduced 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 drought-prone Texas. St. Edward's devotes a significant portion of its resource conservation efforts to 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 is another means to increase water conservation on campus. Visit our blog for news on specific water conservation updates.