Waste and Recycling
The Sustainability office, in collaboration with Facilities Management, works to implement vetted waste management practices through education and monitoring.
Advertised Individual Practices:
- Turning off lights when not in use
- Limiting water usage
- Getting involved in composting
- Limiting the use of single-use plastics
Library and Information Technology Services’ green initiatives include:
Reductions in paper consumption and paper-waste generation through the PaperCut print management system; most network printers are configured for double-sided printing.
Reductions in energy consumption by purchasing only Energy Star-rated equipment and by configuring public lab computers to shut down or reduce power during off-hours.
Tactics to minimize chemical and hazardous waste in the academic science departments, for instance micro-scale experimentation, the substitution of hazardous chemicals with safer/low-hazard chemicals (an effort known as green chemistry) and just-in-time ordering to avoid bulk purchases, storage and degradation.
Cram and Scram:
Cram & Scram is an annual event in which students collect, sort and categorize materials that were traditionally discarded as solid waste before students head home after spring semester. Some of the materials (such as bedding, durable food goods and clothing) collected by our “Cram & Scammers” are donated to local animal shelters, food pantries or the Salvation Army. The vast majority of the reusable items, for instance mini-refrigerators, microwaves, furniture, electronics and lamps, are temporarily stored on campus and resold to the entire community at the start of the fall semester in August. Not only does Cram & Scram divert significant tonnage from the local landfill, it also provides Hamilton students and employees with reusable goods at a fraction of their retail value.
Various campus organizations host thrift stores throughout the academic year to promote second-hand consumption. Students can donate articles of clothing they no longer wear which can then be bought by another Hamilton student for their pleasure. Thrift stores are growing in popularity on Hamilton’s campus and have significantly limited the amount of clothing entering landfills.
Hamilton Secondhand Share Platform
In the fall of 2023, the Hamilton Sustainability Coordinators created a Facebook page where the Hamilton community can list items for the community to purchase. The platform offers members a way to give and receive, share, lend, and express gratitude through a network of micro-local gift economies in which the true wealth is the web of connections formed between members involved. Post anything you'd like to give away, lend, or share in this Buy Nothing community group. Scan the QR code to join!
Hamilton has had a strategic relationship with the Oneida-Herkimer Solid Waste Authority since 1989, when the College was one of the first major employers in the Mohawk Valley to launch a formal recycling program. The program is a collaborative effort that involves the entire college community and is spearheaded by Facilities Management and a vital, student-led group, the Recycling Task Force.
OHSWA’s $10 million recycling center sorts and processes all recyclable materials from Hamilton and the greater Oneida and Herkimer county communities for repurposing, while non-recyclable trash is delivered to their landfill in Ava for long-term burial. OHSWA also operates a household hazardous waste convenience center in Utica, so residents can bring carloads of hazardous materials like paint, pesticides, propane, motor oil, and other harmful chemicals to their facility for proper handling and disposal.
For more information on any of these programs, or for waste-management solutions at home, contact the Oneida-Herkimer Solid Waste Authority.