Recycling at Hartwick

Recycling Initiative Gains Momentum Across the Hartwick College Campus

June 5, 2013

Members of the Hartwick College community have recently worked to develop an initiative focused on improving recycling rates campus-wide. Student leaders, members of the College's Grassroots Club, staff, faculty and administration alike collaborated to broaden the scope of recycling efforts taking place across Oyaron Hill.

"From the start, this has always been a team effort," said Dan Morse '97, coordinator of sustainability programs at Hartwick College. "Our ultimate goal is to create a real culture of recycling and waste minimization at Hartwick - something we can all be proud of. We've made some great progress toward that goal this year."

A wide range of measures were taken to improve recycling rates and raise awareness. A campus-wide survey of trash and recycling bin numbers and locations was conducted by student recycling assistants Kate Purcell '14 and Deanna Rivella '16.  As a result, new stickers were installed to ensure clear, consistent labeling of existing trash and recycling bins.

With the support of funding from Hartwick's Grassroots Club, more than 50 white cardboard bins were installed in residence halls and public areas by the end of the fall semester. In addition, the Office of the President generously provided funding for blue 28-quart recycling bins for faculty and staff offices and classrooms. At the beginning of the 2013 spring semester, students worked to deliver nearly 350 of these new blue bins to various locations across campus.

As part of year-long outreach and education effort, Pine Lake Institute staff and students also met with Resident Advisors, Student Senators, Residence Hall Councils, student club members, and representatives of offices and departments to discuss Hartwick's Zero-Sort Recycling program and to answer questions.

Another significant recycling-related outreach campaign focused on Hartwick's participation in Recyclemania, a friendly competition and benchmarking tool for college and university recycling programs throughout the United States and Canada. The Hartwick RecycleMania team was a campus-wide coalition which included Pine Lake Institute staff, Aramark dining services staff, Aramark facilities services staff, faculty and staff building captains, a student recycling assistant, a student campus theme assistant, and eight student RecycleMania assistants.

As a result of their efforts, nearly 300 individuals signed the RecycleMania pledge, stating that they would participate in the RecycleMania competition, and would encourage others to do so as well.

This year, Hartwick competed in two categories: the Grand Champion (recycling measured as a percentage of Hartwick's overall waste stream) Per Capita Classic (recycling measured in pounds per person). Hartwick finished 6th out of 20 schools statewide in the Grand Champion division, with an overall recycling rate of 35.021%. In the Per Capita category, the campus finished 6th out of 23 schools statewide. The campus generated 20.88 pounds of recycling per person.

"This is Hartwick's second year of involvement in RecycleMania," said Dr. Brian Hagenbuch, director of Hartwick College's Pine Lake Institute. "Not only have we increased our recycling rate as a result of all these initiatives, we also reduced our total waste load by more than 36 percent since last year. We're building on these successes to expand our initiatives and show that Hartwick College is a leader in New York State in reducing our waste load and protecting the environment."

For more information on Hartwick's recycling initiative, visit or contact Hagenbuch at 607-431-4518 or  

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Hartwick College is a private liberal arts and sciences college of 1,500 students, located in Oneonta, NY, in the northern foothills of the Catskill Mountains. Hartwick's expansive curriculum emphasizes an experiential approach to the liberal arts. Through personalized teaching, collaborative research, a distinctive January Term, a wide range of internships, and vast study-abroad opportunities, Hartwick ensures that students are prepared for not just their first jobs, but for the world ahead. A Three-Year Bachelor's Degree Program and strong financial aid and scholarship offerings keep a Hartwick education affordable.

Contact: Valerie Capullo
Phone: 607-431-4031