Waste Reduction

A New Way to RecycleStudents with Recycle Label

Harper is making the switch to single-stream, or “mixed”, recycling. Single stream recycling allows all recyclable material to be commingled in the same collection container and then sorted at the recycle plant. We are transitioning away from the separate recycle bins that are individually labeled (cans, plastic, glass, paper) and are replacing them with a single recycle container that will accommodate the collection of all recyclable materials.

Look for new recycle containers around campus next to trash cans in hallways and public areas. The new recycle bins have a commingle lid, meaning they will have a slot for paper and cardboard and a round hole for plastic, cans and glass. All materials can be placed in the same bin. Please see Republic Services’ list of all accepted recyclable items.

Aaron Wagner, a student from the Harper College Graphic Arts Club along with club members Kevin Coderre and Myk Little, designed a recycle bin label that shows the kinds of materials accepted in our recycle bins. Thanks to the great work and creativity of these students, recycling is now a little easier!

Pictured above (left to right): Graphic Arts Club Members Aaron Wagner, Kevin Coderre and Myk Little.

Library Recycles Tons of Books (Literally)

Book Recycling
The Harper Library has been doing their part to reduce the amount of paper being sent to landfills by partnering with an organization called Discover Books to recycle unwanted books. It has been said that reuse is the greatest form of recycling, and Discover Books operates under this mission to provide used books to others who want and need them most, rather than allowing them to become waste or sit on a shelf unread.  Each year, Harper College collects hundreds of pounds of books to be donated to Discover Books. Over the past two years Harper has donated over 16,000 pounds of books!  

As each semester comes to an end, consider cleaning off your bookshelf and bring those unwanted books to the library to be recycled!  It's about time those unread books on your shelf find a happy new home.

Waste Reduction on Campus

Automated Hand DryerAutomated Hand Dryers  Paper towels inherently generate a significant amount of waste to landfills, and production, travel, distribution and warehousing contribute to high energy usage and associated emissions.  Conversely, high efficiency automated hand dryers use far less energy, require virtually no maintenance or custodial intervention, and greatly reduce the amount of paper products being purchased and disposed of, ultimately resulting in greater money savings.  Look for automated hand dryers in restrooms all across campus. In just one year, Harper has reduced its paper towel usage by 4.3 tons!

Using water bottle filling stationBottle Filling Stations  
Drinking fountains with bottle filling stations have been installed around campus, reducing the need for single-use bottled water. 718,000+ disposable plastic bottles have been eliminated from the waste stream at Harper, and counting.  

Recycling  Harper recycles materials campus-wide.  Look for designated recycling containers throughout campus.  See the Recycle chart for more information. 

Print Green Initiative  The Print Green initiative continues to reduce sheets of paper used for printing by over 1,366 reams a semester!

Ink Cartridge Recycling  Harper's IT department recycles all toner and ink cartridges used on campus by sending them back to the manufacturers for reuse.  Each semester over 400 cartridges are recycled, preventing hundreds of pounds of waste from entering the landfill.      

Outdoor Recycling Container2015 Waste Reduction Plan Update  Every five years Harper performs a waste audit, taking a look at the different types of materials that are being thrown away on campus.  See the 2015 Harper Waste Reduction Plan Update .PDF