Solid Waste Reduction and Recycling

Solid Waste Reduction and Recycling

A. Source Reduction:

All members of the University community are responsible for implementing operational practices that prevent waste from being produced, reduce the use of non-recyclable materials and products, and promote the use of durable and reusable products. Waste reduction practices shall include but are not limited to the following recommendations:

  1. Faculty, staff, students, and administrators should make all reasonable efforts to reduce the number of paper copies being produced in printed publications or reducing pages in such publications.
  2. All departments should continue to look at third party certifications for sustainable printing recommendations to be utilized on printing projects. The Forest Stewardship Council ( certification is one example; such certification means that an independent third party has established a chain of custody to verify that the paper originates in an FSC-certified sustainable, well-managed forest.
  3. Defaults for University printers and copiers shall be set to print or copy in double-sided formats.
  4. The Copy Center will use a double-sided default on all printing jobs, and will offer double-sided formats to users requesting single-sided formats.
  5. All forms used on university properties shall be available electronically, and whenever possible completed and processed electronically, except for those requiring a signature. When electronic signatures are appropriate and acceptable, departments are encouraged to utilize such software. All forms should include only the necessary information and number of copies. Instruction sheets, if necessary, shall be printed on the back of the last page of each form.
  6. All university and departmental newsletters shall be distributed electronically.
  7. Faculty, staff, and administrations shall review mailing lists annually and delete out-of-date subscribers.
  8. Faculty, staff, students, and administrators are encouraged to use smaller, more space-efficient fonts (proportionally spaced Times New Roman, Calibri, or Century Gothic are examples of such fonts).
  9. Personnel are encouraged to use smaller margins and less white space in documents for documents to be printed. Margins of ½ inch are recommended.
  10. Faculty, staff, students and administrators are encouraged to share files electronically, review and edit drafts onscreen, and scan and email documents instead of printing them.
  11. Faculty shall use Blackboard file-sharing options rather than copied materials whenever practicable.
  12. Faculty, staff, students, and administrators shall obtain reference manuals on CD rather than in book form.
  13. Use of the Internet is recommended to distribute reports and catalogs.
  14. Mail is to be distributed in inter-office envelopes or in reusable mail pouches.
  15. Faculty, staff, students, and administrators are encouraged to reuse file folders and other offices supplies.
  16. Items requiring the least amount of packaging should be purchased when available. Every effort should be made to prevent excess or unneeded materials from being purchased.


B.  Large Documents:

  1. The university requires all proposals and reports received from outside vendors and consultants to be printed on both sides using post-consumer recycled content paper. Furthermore, the documents shall be clearly marked to indicate that they are printed on recycled content paper.
  2. No metal or plastic bindings or covers, materials may be bound by reusable notebooks or metal clips or staples. Letters, reports and documents produced by campus administrative and academic departments shall be printed on both sides using post-consumer content recycled paper. To the extent possible, students shall also be encouraged to meet these standards.
  3. Academic Catalogs shall be available in electronic formats each year, with several “desk” copies printed for Admissions and other offices by request.

C. Correspondence:

Whenever feasible, electronic correspondence shall replace written correspondence.


D. Reuse of Materials:

All members of the University community are responsible for reusing products whenever possible, for example, obtaining office furniture and other items from UMW Surplus.

 E. Recycling: All University departments and members of the University community are responsible for separating identified recyclable materials and placing them in appropriate recycling containers. The Recycling at UMW web site gives detailed information on recycling opportunities. Requests for recycling containers and other recycling supplies may be done through the Facilities Services Work Management System.

Academic, administrative, and residence hall recycling collection includes glass, aluminum and plastic, cardboard, mixed paper, and newsprint. Information on other recycling opportunities including toner cartridges, compact florescent bulbs (CFLs), clothing, computers, batteries, confidential documents, and event recycling are addressed on the recycling web site. Facilities Services recycling includes construction/demolition debris, fluorescent light bulbs, motor oil, oil filters, paint, pallets, refrigerants, scrap metal, solvents, tires, paint and additional items as implemented. Facilities Services composts yard waste produced through Landscape and Grounds operations.

The Facilities Services Department including Capital Outlay, Contract Services, and other divisions, along with architectural firms, engineers, and others contracted for construction and renovation shall ensure that all new construction and renovation projects are designed to facilitate recycling in both interior and exterior locations. Further, whenever possible and economically feasible, the University and its contractors shall reuse or recycle materials resulting from the demolition or remodeling of campus facilities.


F. Purchase of Recycled Content Material:

All University departments are responsible for making efforts to purchase and use products manufactured from or containing recycled materials.


G. Confidential Document Destruction