Waste Reduction and Recycling
Waste is a serious problem, and on a campus supporting thousands of people, green initiatives to handle waste can have a significant and positive impact on the environment.
A majority of colleges across the country have embraced ways to reduce waste and Purchase is no exception. The College has made great strides and has introduced a variety of programs including FreeNew and RecycleMania.
FreeNew - At the end of the semester, rather than throwing away electronics, supplies, and other miscellaneous items, students can now donate their unwanted possessions to incoming students for the next academic year. These items are secured in 4 storage containers, each measuring 20x8x8, which have been filled to capacity each year. The student-run FreeNew club manages the sheds and handles the dispensation of items to incoming students at the beginning of each semester. During the semester when the Sheds would otherwise be empty, the FreeNew Club purchased and installed bicycle hooks inside the sheds so bicycles did not have to be left outside anymore and can be well secured.
RecycleMania is a nationwide initiative to reduce the amount of usable or recyclable material from entering landfills. Although we have taken steps in the past to do our part, the College’s first formal participation in this program was in 2016, and were successful in diverting over 164,000 pounds of recyclable items that otherwise would have ended up in the trash. Per Executive Order 04 which requires New York state facilities to improve the sustainability of its operations, the College has tracked its waste efforts for several years. In its last report, we were pleased to announce that we were able to recycle over 5 tons of motor oil, 3.5 tons of kitchen grease, and 8.7 tons of electronic waste. We have also setup a custom e-waste bin in the Library for students to dispose of electronic waste for proper recycling/disposal. This type of waste can be some of the most damaging to the environment, as the College is making great strides in educating our campus community, as well as enabling them to dispose of these items safely.