Loyola University Chicago

- Navigation -

Loyola University Chicago

Institute of Environmental Sustainability

Waste & Materials

Loyola is rethinking how materials enter and leave campus and learning how to turn trash into a resource. Loyola also engages the community to keep resources out of landfills and promote wise resource use.

University Recycling Program

Our recycling rate averages over 20% in 2011-2012, with average weights of almost 60,000 pounds per month, up from just 17,000 pounds per month in academic year of 2008-2009.

A team of dedicated staff and students support facilities staff in educating fellow students on recycling and waste reduction in residence halls, dining venues and at special events.

For more information about Loyola's recycling program, please visit: LUC.edu/recycle.

Think Green & Give

Think Green and Give is a charitable collection event in which gently used, clean clothing and household items, and nonperishable unopened food/toiletries are collected each May. As students move out of the residence halls, they can be pressed for time or lack of space in the vehicle as they pack up. At times students accumulate items that were useful during the school year but when re-evaluating for future use—they are no longer needed. Having collection bins available makes it convenient for students to donate and divert from landfills.

Most of these items can be reused, recycled and donated to others.  Each year through Think Green and Give, an estimated 3,500 lbs pounds of useful items are collected and donated to those in need. Instead of placing the items in a landfill, students engage in the "reuse and recycle" behavior.

Student volunteers also contribute to the success of Think Green and Give with their time to help record and sort donated items. Tracking what is diverted from landfill and donated to those in need gives the students the time to reflect upon on societal consumption behaviors.


Loyola keeps moving up the ranks in RecycleMania each year during this ten-week nationwide recycling competition.  Colleges and Universities across the country compete with each other to reduce waste and apply best recycling practices.

In 2012, RecycleMania's organizing body calculated Loyola's reduction of various environmental impacts as a result of our commitment to recycling:

  • Reduced 193 Metric Tons of CO2 emitted into the atmosphere
  • Loyola's recycling during the eight weeks is equivalent to 103 cars off the road

Biodiesel & BioSoap

The Biodiesel Program's focus is to utilize waste and create useful, saleable products.  One could view the program as a Waste‐to Energy Lab.

  • In the Lab students learn how to make biodiesel from campus waste vegetable oil.
  • BioSoap is made from a waste product created during the process of making biodiesel from waste vegetable oil and is available for purchase in university stores.

A one‐credit lab course is offered annually that allow time for student projects, hands‐on lab experiments, and field trips to see waste systems in action.


The Urban Agriculture Demonstration Gardens Project gives students the experience to learn about aerobic composting.  The Gardens generate plant material that when composted onsite results in nutrients which are then applied to the garden beds.

Another composting program at Loyola is the Compost Collection Program.  This new program, launched in August 2012, collects plate-waste from one of the dining halls on campus and takes it to an independent off-site commercial compost operation. Expansion of the collection program will include:

  • A campus drop-off location for departments and students that would like to divert food-waste materials from the landfill
  • Plate-waste collection from the new Damen Student Center and the new Institute of Environmental Sustainability‌.

Offices & Housekeeping

  • Double-sided printing is now set as the default in computer labs and on library printers.
  • A program to digitize documents for record-keeping is currently being implemented across departments.
  • Housekeeping is responsible for collecting the separate waste streams of recyclable materials and trash and keeping them sorted.

Battery, Ink Jet and Small Electronic Recycling

Facilities Management and the Office of Sustainability team up to oversee the collection of dry batteries, inkjet and toner cartridges, and small personal electronics for students, staff and faculty.

  • Battery collection bins at select locations on campus to prevent heavy metals entering landfills and to capture metals for recycling
  • Inkjet and toner cartridges collection bins at select locations on campus and returned to manufacturer for recycling
  • Small electronics such as tablets, notepads, digital camera and cell phones are collected and recycled off-site

Check out Loyola's Recycling webpage for complete details.

Green Cleaning

Facilities Management Department uses non-hazardous and low VOC cleaners, such as Green Seal, for cleaning campus buildings. The use of Green Seal, an independent organization that adheres to strict standards for safe environmental performance, adds to the Loyola commitment of minimal use of resources and reducing impact to the natural environment.

  • Green Seal cleaning products used on campus reduce exposure to harsh chemicals
  • Protects water quality by reducing use of harsh chemicals


Institute of Environmental Sustainability
Loyola University Chicago · 1032 W. Sheridan Road
Chicago, IL 60660 · Phone: 773-508-2130 · IES@luc.edu

Notice of Non-discriminatory Policy