Rethink Waste: Campus Waste Reduction Initiative

As part of JMU’s Environmental Stewardship Action Plan, the university adopted a goal to reduce waste.  In 2011, JMU sent 35% of our solid waste to be recycled and 8% to be composted (see diagram of waste disposal destinations). This is a significant increase since 2008 when 33% of JMU’s solid waste was sent to recycling and none was composted.  

However, we still have significant opportunities for improved recycling. Measurements by Health Science students indicate that an average of 1/3 to 1/2 of waste put in trash cans on campus should have been disposed of in a recycling bin. Multiple actions have been taken to increase recycling:

• Additional recycling bins have been deployed and a comprehensive bin re-labeling effort was made.
• Composting bins were made available in the Festival Student and Conference Center.
• Behind the scenes composting has been adopted at the all-you-can eat E-hall and D-hall facilities.
• Dining take out packaging, such as cookie bags and clear clam shells, have been replaced by compostable packaging.
• Bulk, confidential shredding is available through JMU Recycling and Waste Management.
• The Copy Center offers high quality, tested, recycled paper.
• The JMU recycling guidelines were improved & widely distributed.

If you would like assistance implementing waste reduction, training is available through Training and Development’s “Choose Environmental Stewardship” series.

Rethink Transportation

JMU has transformed its core campus transportation system between 2010-2013 via changing transportation infrastructure (e.g., converting the core campus to pedestrian/bicycle/transit-only access, altering traffic patterns, removing parking, and adding bicycling lanes), improving alternative transportation options (e.g. increasing transit service, offering social-media based online ridesharing, and introducing car sharing), and increasing user information dissemination (e.g. implementing a web-based, interactive bus schedule, a real-time bus arrival tracking system, a web hub for transportation information, and awareness campaigns--see NavigateJMU.edu). The university experienced a ~31% increase in transit ridership and a ~43% decrease in the number of vehicles crossing campus.