/ Sustainability

Recycling and Waste

We’re making a greener campus through the four Rs: reducing, reusing, repurposing and recycling.

“There is no such thing as ‘away.’ When we throw anything away it must go somewhere.”
– Annie Leonard

Read more about Hope's recycling efforts and learn where to recycle specific items. 

Reduce
  • The most effective way to reduce waste going into a landfill is to not create it in the first place; this also helps to preserve the earth's resouces
  • Reflect on if you actually need an item (espcially single use products)
  • Opt for products that have less packaging
  • Reduce your energy and water usage
  • Think Green Before You Shop
  • Pack a Waste Free Lunch
  • Ways Hope is reducing our landfill impacts:
    • Computing and Information Technology is refining campus work habits to reduce printing and copying by students and staff (e.g., setting lab and library printers to print on both sides of the page by default, eliminating printed monthly budget reports and moving student time cards online)
    • Hope's IT initiative brings awareness of technological efficiency to campus departments, saving paper and reducing the hours required to perform recurring tasks
Reuse
  • Before you throw something away, think: Could someone else use this?  
  • Reuse all furniture or clothing by storing it for later use or donating it to local organizations
  • Ways Hope is reusing:
    • We donate anything left from students at the end of the school year to the Rescue Mission
    • An annual program has been created to donate mattresses that get replaced
    • Donate leftover building supplies to the Habitat for Humanity's Restore

Find a list of local organizations that accept usable goods 

Repurpose
  • Are there creative ways you give old materials a new life?   
  • Check out Pinterest for some fun ideas! 
  • Ways Hope is repurposing:
    • Strategic in usage and repurposing of existing facilities to meet the changing needs of students
    • Hosting upcycling events on campus and in the community
Recycle
  • Recycling is the process of collecting and processing materials that would otherwise be thrown away as trash and turning them into new products.
  • Check out the campus recycling guidelines for all campus buildings, including student residence halls, cottages and apartments. We offer a single-stream recycling program with one bin for all acceptable recyclable materials. The key to this is knowing what items can and cannot go in the bin so the materials are not contaminated. Note, the "ecoware" from Creative Dining is not recyclable and should be placed in the composting bins.   
  • Ways Hope is recycling:
    • Office paper recycling is available for all departments; paper is shredded and recycled into home insulation product.
    • Drop off wet cell/rechargeable batteries at Physical Plant for recycling (alkaline batteries [e.g., AAA, AA, C, D] cannot be recycled at this time).
    • A graduation gown recycling program has been implemented instead of sending them to a landfill
    • Recycle fluorescent bulbs and ballasts, transformers and copper wire
    • Use recycled latex paint and team with Repcolite Paints Inc. to recycle unused latex paint instead of sending it to a landfill
    • All food containers at DeVos that are not compostable are recyclable
    • Recycle mattresses that are not in reusable condition
    • Preferring to renovate existing buildings as opposed to using demolition for new construction
    • The Transportation and Grounds departments recycle all fluids from vehicle maintenance
Hope College Recycling Report

The numbers below are provided by Waste Management (WM) and are estimated based on pick-up schedule, historic WM studies and EPA averages.

In July 2018, because of recycling efforts on campus, we saved:

  • 14,824 kW-hrs of electricty (enough to power 1 home for a full year)
  • 76 mature trees (enough to produce 937,440 sheets of newspaper)
  • 38,159 gallons of water (enough to meet the freshwater needs of 508 people for a year)
  • 27 cubic yards of landfill airspace (enough to airspace to meet the disposal needs of a community of 35 people)
  • 24 metric tons of the greenhouse gas CO2