Recycling Committee

Committee Leaders

Patrick Varuzza
SEAS '20 | pv2286

Amar Bhardwaj
SEAS '20 | aab2243

What We Do Recycling @ CU

The Recycling Committee combines student-facing and administration-oriented efforts to improve recycling on the Columbia campus. They hope to optimize recycling infrastructure, such as bin messaging and availability, and make students more informed and motivated regarding recycling. The Committee carries out both initiatives that are longstanding Committee traditions and those that are newly conceived. The Committee also works on some initiatives relating to energy saving on campus. They are always looking for new ways to direct their energy!


Kill the Cup Campaign, 2018

In this semesterly tradition, the Recycling Committee gives out free reusable mugs at tabling events on campus, to advocate for the elimination of disposable cups. All who bring any reusable mug to Blue Java locations receive a discount on hot drinks!

kill the cup 2017

annual kill the cup campaign

Recycling Bin Labels, 2018

After many conversations with administrators, the Committee submitted a formal proposal in spring 2018 that the university change its bin labels from confusing and inaccurate wording such as ‘Cans and Bottles’ to more descriptive labels such as ‘Plastic, Metals, Glass, and Cartons’ to make recycling more intuitive. This proposal was accepted, and in fall 2018 all bin labels were updated to the Recycling Committee’s suggestions!

labels for the columbia's waste bins

Click here to see exactly what can and cannot be recycled in each bin according to Columbia Facilities!

Recycling Bins in Dorms, 2018

Many dorm rooms are not equipped with recycling bins inside the room, making it unlikely that students will recycle waste generated in their rooms. The Recycling Committee is campaigning to have recycling bins provided to every dorm room on campus, to make recycling more convenient for students.

Click here to see exactly what can and cannot be recycled in each bin according to Columbia Facilities!

Occupancy Sensor Light Switches, 2018

Manual light switches make it all too easy for a light to stay on in an empty room for a prolonged period of time. Although the Recycling Committee advocates for turning off the lights when you leave a room, they are also working to have occupancy sensor light switches installed across campus. These switches will turn off the lights when a room is unoccupied, but not when people are present.