Waste and Recycling
In 2013, Vanderbilt University and Medical Center recycled over 6 million pounds of material!
Vanderbilt University is home to over 12,000 full and part-time students, employs 23,000 faculty and staff, and is the largest private employer in Middle Tennessee. With such a large community, Vanderbilt has the potential to generate large quantities of waste on a daily basis. In an effort to reduce the institution’s impact on the environment, Vanderbilt faculty, staff, and students are encouraged to find ways to reduce waste and recycle.
Reducing your consumption of resources and products, whether it is using a reusable coffee mug instead of a disposable one or printing double-sided copies to save paper, also reduces the amount of waste you produce.
Reusing items that you might normally dispose is also a means of reducing waste generated. Look for ways to repurpose items or for places to donate unwanted products so that others can reuse them. Products that cannot be reused should be recycled whenever possible.
Recycling involves taking used materials and making them into new products. This process prevents the use of raw materials and reduces energy consumption and water and air pollution involved with the production and transportation of new items. Recyclable materials include traditional items such as paper, aluminum, plastic, glass, and cardboard, as well as nontraditional items such as computers, electronics, toner cartridges, batteries, fluorescent light bulbs and much more! Materials from campus that will be recycled are collected by recycling vendors and taken to a recycling center were they may be sorted, cleaned, and processed into new materials.
In 2013, 6 million pounds of paper, confidential paper, cardboard, plastic and aluminum were recycled from VU and VUMC together resulting in $115,160 in recycling rebates and over $165,000 in avoided landfill fees.
In 2013, 29.3 tons of computers were recycled by VU.
In 2013, 6 tons of fluorescent light bulbs and 16 tons of batteries and ballasts were recycled.
Recycling has several benefits at Vanderbilt:
- Fiscally, it costs the University more money to dispose of a ton of garbage than it does a typical ton of recycling. Also, we are paid for many of our recyclable goods. Rebates earned from recycling programs go back into paying for the recycling program.
- Civically, recycling is a responsible way to keep the landfill in our area from filling up.
- Environmentally, it is an easy way to help protect the finite resources of our planet.
Find more information below pertaining to recycling opportunities available in your area at Vanderbilt.
- Campus Recycling Program
- Vanderbilt University Medical Center Recycling Program
- Vanderbilt University Real Estate Operations Recycling
- Non-traditional Recycling Options
- Nashville & Beyond
Not finding the answers to your questions? For questions about recycling on main campus and at special events, contact the Campus Recycling Manager. For questions about recycling in all other locations, contact SEMO. For questions about chemical waste collection, visit the VEHS website.
- Earth-friendly Move In Tips for Students » 8.6.14
- Vanderbilt’s waste and recycling vendor converts vehicles to compressed natural gas » 7.8.14
- Improved Paper Recycling Options through Partnership with Cintas, Inc. » 6.27.14
- The Kefi Project is taking art to unexpected places » 4.23.14
- SEMO Celebrates Earth Day with No Impact Week » 4.22.14
- Don’t Toss it!—Vanderbilt’s Earth Friendly Move Out Tips » 4.22.14
- ‘If You Stay, Use a Tray’: A Dining debate over convenience » 4.10.14