Union recognized for recycling and composting efforts

Publication Date

The College has been honored with a state award for its recycling and composting practices.

The New York State Association for Reduction, Reuse and Recycling gave Union its annual team award for “a group (public or private sector) whose actions have significantly reduced solid waste or have furthered waste prevention, reuse, recycling, and/or composting.”

The College was recognized for the work of its U Sustain committee, a group of environmentally and socially concerned students, faculty and staff who steward the College’s sustainability initiatives. Among the initiatives cited were the unique residential composting program in Garnet Commons and apartments on Seward Place and Roger Hull Place, which was started by Matt Giso ’16 with the help of a grant from NYSAR3.

Also mentioned was the annual “Donation Day.” The day after commencement, student and staff volunteers collect furniture, clothing and other items left behind in residence halls. The items are distributed to nearly a dozen local organizations, including the Salvation Army, City Mission and Habitat for Humanity.

Union was nominated for the latest recycling award by Angelina Peone, who runs the Master Recycling and Composting course through the Schenectady County Cornell Cooperative Extension Program.

It will receive its award at NYSAR3’s 29th annual Recycling and Trade Show in Cooperstown Thursday, Nov. 9.

NYSAR3 promotes waste reduction, reuse and recycling practices through guidance, funding, education and networking opportunities.

Union was recently named one of the country’s most environmentally responsible colleges, according to The Princeton Review’s “Guide to Green Colleges.”

The College has been included among the nation’s greenest colleges since the first guide was published in 2010.

Sustainability is one of the key priorities of the College’s Strategic Plan.

In 2007, President Stephen C. Ainlay was among the first to sign the American College and University Presidents Climate Commitment (ACUPCC), pledging to reduce Union’s carbon footprint and provide research and education.