Current initiatives: waste reduction and management
- Give+Go Program: What you don't want, someone else might need. The Give+Go is an annual program designed
to capture used goods students leave behind at the end of the year and bring them
to local and regional nonprofits where the goods can be either reused or resold. This
program diverts tons of material from the landfill and gives Skidmore students an
opportunity to give back to their community. Over one hundred tons of material have
been diverted from entering the landfill and are instead donated to local, regional
and international agencies.
In years past, Skidmore has partnered with the Salvation Army, Goodwill, Skidmore-Haiti Initiative, CAPTAIN program and Backstretch Employee Service Team to collect and donate goods.
- Recycling: Skidmore recycles or reuses mixed office paper, newspaper, magazines, cardboard, plastic, glass, aluminum cans, tin, electronics, batteries and some furniture. In 2013 Skidmore transitioned to a new zero-sort recycling program. Zero-sort recycling allows users to place all recyclable material (paper, cardboard, metals, glass and plastics) in one bin, making recycling much easier. Skidmore also donates used Skidmore cellphones to a local charitable organization and recycles its asphalt for road base and shoulders. Skidmore hopes to reach a 60% diversion rate by 2025.
- Composting: Skidmore composts landscaping debris and horse manure at the college's larger-scale composting facility. The compost generated at this site is used on the college's landscaped beds. Additionally, the student-run compost program collects food scraps from campus apartments. The compost generated from this project is used on the Skidmore Community Garden, an organic garden that supplies food to the Murray-Aikins Dining Hall.
- Residence hall and classroom renovation project donation: In addition to the many items donated by students in the Give+Go, the college also donates furniture and appliances that are being replaced during renovations to classrooms and student housing. Since 2012, a total of 3,800 pieces of furniture and 131 tons of material have been diverted from the landfill as a result of these donation programs. Thanks to a partnership between Skidmore and the Institutional Recycling Network, the large majority of the usable furniture and appliances are collected and donated to national and international agencies. Skidmore also donated nearly 600 beds to the network since 2012, continuing an ongoing tradition and growing relationship.
- Skidmore trash audit: On April 18, 2008, the Skidmore Environmental Action Club performed a trash audit by sorting through 30 bags of waste from academic and residential buildings on campus. They separated the contents into mixed recycling, paper and trash on Case Green. The purpose of the activity was to raise awareness about our recycling program and help people realize how much of our trash is recyclable. During the trash audit, Skidmore community members engaged in conversations about our recycling program and saw firsthand some of the recyclable materials our community throws away. In May 2013 Skidmore conducted a second waste audit with Casella, our waste hauler, at a nearby transfer station. The results of the waste audit served as a baseline for our recycling rate before starting the zero-sort recycling program
- Food waste: Skidmore Compost has been diverting food waste from the Northwoods Apartment Village since 2010; the program was expanded to Sussman Village in 2014. In that time, over 45,000 pounds of food waste has been diverted from landfills and used in the Skidmore Community Garden.