Bulletin News

Dining Hall Rewards Recycling Habits


It pays to recycle at SUNY Cortland.

Auxiliary Services Corporation (ASC), the College’s not-for-profit dining services provider, launched SUNY Cortland’s latest sustainability measure Jan. 18 to recognize campus community members for their thoughtful recycling habits.

In an effort to reduce the amount of trash generated by Hilltop, a campus dining facility located in Brockway Hall, diners are being rewarded with raffle tickets for a $25 ASC gift certificate for correctly using trash, recycling and compost bins.

Each day until Friday, Feb. 10, campus “green” representatives and Student Health Service staff members will introduce Hilltop patrons to new signs above the bins and hand out raffle tickets for the drawing.

“ASC has worked really hard to make sure most items people use in dining halls can be recycled or composted,” said William McNamara, the director of dining services for ASC. “This is a smaller effort that hopefully will produce some lasting effects.”

According to a national study from 2010, Americans toss out enough paper and plastic cups, forks and spoons in one year to circle the equator 300 times. Waste reduction saves natural resources and energy costs and reduces pollution risks, McNamara said.

The only items that should be thrown away in Hilltop trash bins are potato chip bags, cracker wrappers, soy sauce packets and hot chocolate packets.

Everything else can be recycled or composted.

Recyclable items include: plastic bottles and caps, sushi containers and foil pans and lids.

Items that should be composted include: food waste, utensils, plates, take-out boxes, cups and sugar packets and tea bags.

Operating in a sustainable, environmentally sensitive way is one of SUNY Cortland’s institutional priorities. A charter signatory of the American College and University Presidents Climate Commitment, SUNY Cortland is reducing its carbon footprint, conserving its resources and launching programs that are guided by the College’s Carbon Neutrality Committee.

Each spring, the College holds a sustainability week to underscore its environmental commitments.