Recycling Program

SAIC has a Single Stream Recycling program for paper, plastic, and aluminum. Single Stream Recycling means that material can now be collected in a combined or mixed fashion. Paper and metal or plastic can now be collected without the need of keeping the materials separated. Lakeshore Recycling picks up all of our recycling materials together and they are then separated at their recycling facilities.

Recycling at SAIC is easy, just look for the plastic bins with the green SAIC Recycles! sticker and the clear bag. Plastic bins with no sticker and a black bag are for trash. Your participation is key to making this program successful.

What Can I Recycle?

Before recycling, please rinse out products and remove labels whenever possible. 

Metal Products

Plastic Products

Paper Recycling



SAIC participated in RecycleMania 2012
RecycleMania is a friendly competition and benchmarking tool for college and university recycling programs to promote waste reduction activities to their campus communities. Over a 10-week period, schools report recycling and trash data which are then ranked according to who collects the largest amount of recyclables per capita, the largest amount of total recyclables, the least amount of trash per capita, or have the highest recycling rate. With each week's reports and rankings, participating schools watch how their results fluctuate against other schools and use this to rally their campus communities to reduce and recycle more.

Additional Waste Minimization
Student Life and the department of Instructional Resources & Facilities Management are working together to reduce the mountains of waste that are created at SAIC during the end of the semester. In May of 2008, when students were moving out of the dorms, 27 tons of trash was created in 3 days. Not only is this shockingly wasteful, but it's also expensive: SAIC has to pay by the ton and per pickup. We decided to take action and in September 08–May 09, we recycled 190 tons and threw away 789 tons.

Residence Halls Summer Move-Out
During Move Out, Residence Life sets up collection points in the dorms for usable clothing, food, and other household supplies, these materials are donated to local charities like the Brown Elephant and the Greater Chicago Food Depository.

Classroom Cleanout and Construction Debris
At the end of the academic year hundreds of abandoned art projects and supplies are left in classrooms and lockers across campus. Any art projects or any materials left from construction and renovation projects go into an open top dumpster to be recycled at Lakeshore Recycling's Facility.

Campus Recycling Summary

September 2008–May 2009
Trash: 789 Tons
Recycling (Paper, Plastic & Aluminum): 190 Tons
Construction Debris Recycled: 91 Tons
Batteries Recycled: 376 lbs

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Campus Improvements and Conservation Projects

With the goal of bringing SAIC to the leading edge of green innovation, here are some examples of our current projects aimed at reducing our carbon footprint.

Columbus Building Lighting Project

Project to retrofit lighting in the Print Media Department. Old T12 and T8 fixtures were replaced with new T5 fixtures. The T5 fixtures are 25 percent more efficient and actually produce more light.

Columbus Drive Foundry Kiln

Project involved the replacement of the old primary burnout kiln and the replacement of the motor for the foundry air handler.

Annual reduction of 214 metric tons

Changing to VAV on MAU

Reduced gas use with new kiln

Sharp Lighting Project (Timers)
Timers were installed in classrooms throughout the Sharp Building to help save energy when no one is using the classroom.

Forbo Marmoleum Flooring Across Campus
New flooring is gradually being installed in dorm rooms and academic buildings made of the sustainable and all-natural product. Forbo Marmoleum is made from entirely renewable resources (jute, wood flour, rosin, and linseed oil.) It is nontoxic in its production, installation, use, maintenance, and disposal and eliminates the need for toxic chemicals normally used in the stripping and waxing of traditional VCT flooring.

Nighttime Setbacks Across Campus
During winter and summer when school is not in session the mechanical systems will be turned off and the temperature will be lowered in all academic buildings at night.

Expect to save $30,000 per year

Residence Hall Energy and Water Conservation Project
Incandescent light bulbs in dorm rooms have been replaced with CFLs and new low-flow restrictions have been installed in all dorm room showers and sinks.

Expected results are 206 Metric Tons of CO2 not being release into the atmosphere and 1.7 million gallons of water saved annually

Bottleless Water Coolers, Pilot Program
The bottleless water cooler still provides cooling and hot water but you eliminate all the plastic bottles and the delivery truck. The pilot coolers can be found in the Sharp Building suite 1001 and the 4th floor hallway.

Conversion of Fan Drives to Variable Frequency Drives in the MacLean Center
Fan drives in the MacLean Center were replaced with Variable Frequency Drives; it's like putting a dimmer switch on the fan that moves the air.

Annual reduction of 183 metric tons

Conversion of fan drives to VSDs

Running total, environmental impact, annual reduction to date (average American, individual carbon footprints: 20 tons)

***32 Average Americans offset, running tagline info

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Cleaning Products

We clean SAIC with Spartan's Green Solutions product line, which has been created with current and future global environmental concerns in mind.

Some Benefits of Green Cleaning

Tips for Green Cleaning at Home and in Your Dorm Room

Ingredients to stay away from when selecting products to clean your dorm room include Ammonia, Alcohol, Dyes, Heavy perfume, Butly, Glycol Ethers, Solvents, Phosphates, Caustics or Acidic, Nonylphenol Ethoxylate, or Bleach.

Products to use that can be purchased in most stores that sell cleaning products:

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Purchasing Policies

SAIC will whenever financially possible or practical purchase products for which ENERGY STAR ratings exist, the products that SAIC purchases will be ENERGY STAR certified or meet the performance requirements for ENERGY STAR certification. In areas for which guidelines are not available, SAIC will seek energy efficient products.

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SURPLUS Service Station

SURPLUS is a system for material reuse at SAIC. SURPLUS is a service station where used and excess materials can be made available for other students to take and use for free. Students can bring anything they no longer need—materials, former art projects, etc., as long as they meet the material guidelines posted—and take away stuff that they can use. SURPLUS provides a constantly changing resource for materials for artmaking, and it keeps quantities of used and excess materials that the school produces out of the landfills.

SURPLUS is located in the Columbus Building basement, Room 030. Materials can only be accepted and picked up during open hours.

Fall 2010 hours are:

Monday: 11:00 a.m.–1:00 p.m.
Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday: 12:00–1:00 p.m.

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