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Campus Recycling Program

In 1990, Vanderbilt University began actively working on a program to reduce waste for the University community. Formally established in 1992, the Vanderbilt University recycling program has evolved and continues to grow through the active involvement and participation of its student body, staff and faculty.

The program was initially under the auspices of the Resource Conservation Advisory Committee, a forum for student leaders and Vanderbilt faculty and staff. In 2002, Vanderbilt Recycles was established as a student-led and managed organization. In 2004 the organization was renamed Students Promoting Environmental Awareness and Recycling, and in 2008, changed its name again to Students Promoting Environmental Awareness and Responsibility (SPEAR). SPEAR has partnered with both the Student Government Association (SGA) and the InterResidence Hall Association’s (Interhall) environmental committees to actively promote existing environmental awareness programs and to develop and implement new initiatives. SPEAR continues to work with student government in its current form, Vanderbilt Student Government (VSG).

The Department of Plant Operations is now operationally responsible for the University’s Recycling Program, providing building recycling services to academic campus staff, students, and residents and managing a community recycling initiative at special events such as athletic games and move-out.

Recent Accomplishments

  • In 2012, 4,664,000 lbs (2,332 tons) of paper, confidential paper, cardboard, plastic and aluminum were recycled from VU and VUMC together resulting in $72,518 in recycling rebates and over $140,000 in avoided landfill fees.
  • In 2012, 149,152 lbs (74.5 tons) of computers were recycled by VU.
  • In 2012, 40,814 fluorescent light bulbs and 16,252 lbs (8 tons) of batteries were recycled.

For more information and questions concerning the campus recycling program, contact the Campus Recycling Manager.