Waste Minimization & Diversion are Priorities

Dickinson is committed to reducing materials consumption, reusing materials, recycling and composting. We are also committed to using sustainable 'green' products. 

Dickinson's single-stream recycling system accepts paper, cardboard, plastics (#1-7), glass and metals in all recycling receptacles. We also have programs for recycling batteries, electronic waste, and printer cartridges. 150 tons of materials, representing approximately one-fourth of our solid waste, is diverted from landfills by recycling at Dickinson each year.


100% of the pre and post-consumer food waste from the dining hall is collected, pulped, and sent to our College Farm for composting, where it is used to improve the soils. This system cut the volume of waste sent to the landfill from dining services by 50%, saving over $10,000 annually, diverting 1 dumpster of waste daily, or 96 tons each year. Students also collect food waste from residence halls for composting at the farm.

Paper use was reduced when unlimited free printing by students was replaced in 2009 by a policy that allows each student to print up to 600 pages without charge each semester and then charges a fee for printing beyond that amount. The revised policy cut student paper use by nearly 60%, saving an estimated $35,000 and 89 trees per year. A new print management system implemented in summer 2012 is reducing paper use by college faculty and staff.

Students donate unwanted furniture, appliances, clothes, food and school supplies in the annual U-Turn End-of-Year sale that benefits the local United Way, with over $15,000 worth of sales. Additionally, students are constant creating creative items from waste such as pillows from plastic bags, fences from bamboo, tables from pallets, and even glasses from old wine bottles.

All paper purchased by the college has 30% recycled content. Dickinson purchases EPEAT-certified computers, and all purchased cleaning products are Green Seal Certified or biorenewable. We purchase furniture and flooring that are made with sustainable materials and manufacturing processes.

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