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In 1992, Vanderbilt University formally established the Vanderbilt University recycling program which has evolved and grown through the active involvement and participation of its student body, staff and faculty. In 2015, Vanderbilt recycled 8.7 million pounds of material, an increase of 13 percent over the year before and just over triple the volume since 2010.
The Sustainability and Environmental Management Office (SEMO) operates the university recycling program. We provide recycling services to campus academic and administrative buildings and manage recycling initiatives for large events such as student move-out, student move-in, Commencement, and athletics events. Vanderbilt accepts five major items through the main campus recycling program: paper, cardboard, plastic, aluminum, and glass. Non-traditional recycling is also available at specific locations across campus and includes ink/toner cartridges, batteries, light bulbs, scrap metal, etc. Locations of recycling centers for residential housing can be found here. To learn more about Vanderbilt’s recycling program, visit SustainVU Recycling Program.

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 reuse, 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.

To request recycling services, email or call the campus waste and recycling manager at 615-343-2784 (615-34E-ARTH).

All work orders should be submitted using the ReADY application . For emergency facilities issues please call 615-322-2621.