The Task Force on the Sustainable Campus Climate is proud to announce a new initiative to recycle batteries on campus. This is an opportunity for the campus community to be involved with a green program that promotes sustainability and environmental awareness by recycling batteries found in the office environment. The following types of batteries will be accepted: rechargeable batteries, AA, AAA, C, D, 9-volt and other small alkaline batteries found in typical office equipment and supplies, Lithium-ion, Ni-Cd and Ni-MH batteries. Please seal the battery terminals with tape to prevent accidental discharge during shipment.
The Green Team established a system to recycle these batteries through Campus Mail. The batteries can be placed in any reusable envelope and sent to "Campus Mail/Recycling". There is no limit to the number of batteries that can be placed in the envelope as long as the envelope can be sealed and secured during shipment. Green Team members Dawn Fritsch of Campus Mail Services and James Gable, Chemical Safety Officer of the Environmental Health and Safety Department, work together to manage all incoming batteries and make sure they are properly disposed of. Since the project's implementation, the Green Team has helped recycle of 11,000 lbs of batteries! The project is now a collaborative effort with NIU Campus Recycling.
The Green Team has hosted several electronics recycling events for both the campus and Dekalb community. These events allowed community members to bring in unused or broken electronics that may otherwise be disposed of in landfills and leach toxic chemicals to the environment. The materials recycled from these electronics also conservce valuable resources by being reprocessed. The E-waste recycling drives do not include any Northern Illinois University property; University electronics are handled through Property Control. Electronics Recycling is now an ongoing recycling service with Campus Recycling, and e-waste from faculty, staff, students, and the community is collected year round.
This office supply recycling initiative collects used pens, mechanical pencils, and markers. These items are collected through Campus Mail Services similar to battery recycling. Ink placed in the landfill can release harmful chemicals into the environment and leach through the ground into the water supply. The Green Team recycles the office supplies through a program with Terracycle©. This project has sparked the idea of a larger office greening initiative to be implemented through a partnership with the Green Team and the Institute for the Study of the Environment, Sustainability, and Energy.
The Green Team has had a booth at the Wellness Fair each year since its start. Sustainable practices at home lead to a healthier lifestyle. The group has collected batteries, lightbulbs, pens, and markers for recycling at past Wellness Fairs. Reusable tote bags were also provided for attendees at the fair by the Green Team.