Sustainable Campus

Recycling

Waste Management (WM) has taken over all waste and recycling hauling on both the Lawrenceville and Princeton campuses. On September 30, 2009, the Lawrenceville campus switched to single-stream recycling.  Single-stream is a system that allows Rider to place all their recyclables–such as fiber (newspaper, office paper and cardboard) and non-fiber (plastics #1-7, glass, and aluminum) into a single container for subsequent collection, processing, and remarketing. On February 2, 2010, WM set up Daly’s and Cranberry’s to separate all food waste for composting at Wilmington Organics Recycling in Wilmington, Delaware.  Food accounts for 70% percent of the waste from Daly’s, which will now be recycled and used as a fertilizer in commercial and residential applications. Collection containers to store used fryer grease are provided and retrieved by Waste Oil Recyclers Inc. to then be converted into biodiesel fuel. The Eco-Reps have also set up a program across the campus so that students, faculty, and staff have an easy way to recycle their electronic waste (“e-waste”). The Techno Trash bins are 5 gallon buckets with green labels that are now located in all the residence halls on both campuses during the school year.  The items collected will be sent to GreenDisk for responsible recycling.  The items being collected include: 

  • All forms of electronic media and their cases: diskettes, zip disks, CDs, CD-Rs, CD-RWs, DVDs et al, video tape (i.e. VHS), audio tape, game cartridges, DAT, DLT, Beta or Digibeta, and virtually all other type of computer tapes.
    Printer cartridges including both inkjet and toner.
  • All of the cords, cables, boards, chips, etc. attached to or removed from a computer.
  • All types of cell phones, pagers, PDAs and their chargers, cables, and headset accessories
  • All types of rechargeable batteries (not regular alkaline ones) and their chargers

RecycleMania

RecycleMania is an eight-week, nationwide recycling competition among college and university campuses. Hundreds of schools compete to increase recycling rates and reduce waste accumulation. Rider University has participated in this competition since 2009. In Rider’s second year competing, we increased our recycling rate by 295%. In 2012, Rider competed with local schools such as Drew, Guilford, and Rutgers. The competition generally runs from February -April with Rider reporting our recycling rate each week to be compared to other competing schools. To help Rider get ahead in RecycleMania, you can recycle all aluminum, plastics numbered 1-7., cardboard, paper, and glass in appropriate marked containers. Recycle electronic waste in designated Techno Trash bins. And as always, be sure to buy less and reuse items more often.

Bike Racks

In an effort to promote environmentally friendly transportation, Rider has installed several bike racks on both campuses. These racks have been placed in convenient locations so that riders can safely park their bikes without worry. Due to increased usage in the spring 2011 semester, additional bike racks were installed the following fall.

A bike share program is in the works for the 2012-2013 school year. This program will allow students, faculty and staff  to borrow a bike for an allotted amount of time to provide sustainable transportation to local surrounding areas.

Water Bottle Refill Stations

Campus Sustainability Day 2009 was accompanied by the introduction of Quench Stations  located around campus. Initially, two of these water bottle refill stations were installed on the Lawrenceville and the Westminster campuses to see how they would be received by faculty and students.  Immediately the response was extremely positive. Students were able to receive free, cool, filtered water eliminating the need for plastic water bottles which carry a hefty carbon footprint. It takes one gallon of oil to make 41 plastic water bottles as well as the gas used by the trucks which deliver them to campus.   Check out the Lawrenceville Quench Map and Westminster Quench Map to find a Quench machine near you!  Over the next year, all Quench machines will be replaced by an Elkay brand combination water fountain/bottle fill stations.  These units are built into the wall and will service people carrying refillable bottles as well as those that aren’t.  This will be an upgrade from the free-standing Quench machines.

Renewable Energy

In keeping with the President’s Climate Commitment and Rider’s push to become carbon neutral by 2050, Rider began purchasing Renewable Energy Credits (RECs) in 2007. These Clean Energy Credits means that 35% of Rider’s energy use is purchased from a renewable source, in Rider’s case, wind energy. This renewable energy is all a part of Rider’s effort to become a more sustainable campus and community.

Energy Star Appliances

Also in keeping with Rider’s Carbon Neutrality Plan, any new appliance purchased by Rider University is Energy Star certified. Energy Star, a government run certification program, means that the appliance simultaneously uses less energy while running more efficiently. One of the biggest impacts that Energy Star has had on Rider’s campus is with the new washer and dryer units installed over the summer of 2010. These new washers and dryers are extremely energy efficient with the washers now using four gallons of water for each cycle as compared to the 35 gallons that the old washers required.

Energy Meters

Over the 2009 summer break energy meters were installed throughout all of the buildings on the Lawrenceville campus. These energy meters provide, in real-time, the energy being consumed by each building during the day. They are meant to show when buildings are consuming exurbanite amounts of energy in order to find ways of reduction. They help to show which buildings are in need of improvement in order to be more environmentally friendly as well as demonstrate to students and staff the impact they have on the energy consumed throughout buildings on campus. The energy meters can be viewed by anyone on campus by following the simple directions provided.

They are used in the Battle of the Buildings competition, where residence halls compete with one another to try to reduce the amount of energy their building uses in comparison to other residence halls on campus. The residence hall which is able to reduce their consumption the most receives points towards the competition.

West Village (LEED Silver Certified)

In 2007, ground was broken for the West Village Commons. According to Rider News, it was planned as part of The President’s Climate Commitment and has helped Rider step in the right direction with Green Building. All appliances in the halls are EnergyStar rated, buildings are super insulated and the concrete is made with recycled fly ash. With this LEED Silver certificate, 35% of Rider’s electricity is purchased through renewable energy credits. Low-flow water fixtures are also used in reducing waste, and environmentally friendly paints, carpets, and cork flooring are also in use to reduce the production impact of the hall. More than 20% of the construction materials were purchased locally and at least 75% of the waste was recycled. Trees in the site were taken out using horses instead of trucks and machinery. LEED, Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, Certification means that the building meets a set of standards set by the United States Green Building Council.

North Hall (LEED Gold Certified) & BLC Theater Addition

Beginning in the spring of 2010, Rider began two new construction projects on the Lawrenceville campus; an addition to the BLC Theater and a new academic building, North Hall. The multi-million dollar projects were completed in the summer of 2011. The new 21,000 sq. ft. academic building features 9 new classrooms, two seminar rooms, a multipurpose conference room and 16 university offices. The 10,000 square foot BLC Theater addition allows seating for 350 people and is a fully functional teaching and production theater complete with a production stage, screen and prop shop, and 1,500 square foot dance and rehearsal studio. The BLC Theater expansion was built with low-emitting materials, energy-efficient HVAC equipment, a white roof for heat reflection and regional construction materials. North Hall features an innovative green design, including a green roof, and used sustainable building materials, earning it a LEED Certified Gold certification. All waste generated from both projects was recycled.

Furthering Sustainability

As part of Rider’s continued efforts to promote sustainability on campus several positions and educational forums have been introduced to educate Rider’s community about sustainability. Along with Rider’s “Green Film Series” which educates students, faculty, and staff about green causes promoted through film, Rider introduced a Sustainability Minor in the spring 2011 semester. This minor allows students with an interest in the environment to explore how sustainability can be applied to a variety of different disciplines and how it affects our world today. Freshman Seminar professors are provided with the option to have Eco-Reps visit their class and educate first year students about sustainability and Rider’s efforts to go green. The Student Government Association has also created an Energy and Sustainability Chair as part of the president’s cabinet. A graduate assistant for sustainability has also been established in the Office of Sustainability to work with the Sustainability Manager and Eco-Reps to further create initiatives on Rider’s campus to benefit the environment.

Rider Green Acres (Rider University Organic Garden)

Rider’s Green Acres is an organic garden established in June 2011. It is maintained by many volunteers and anyone who loves gardening is welcome to join our team! It is managed by Jess Canose (canosej@rider.edu) and directed by Dr. Laura Hyatt. The garden is located between the Joseph P. Vona Academic Annex and Van Cleve House, near the main gate. Garden sponsors and supporters include the Energy and Sustainability Steering Committee, Student Affairs and Facilities Management at Rider University and Ortho-McNeil Jansseen.  There are Produce Give-Away days held starting around mid-summer every Thursday from 12 p.m. until the available produce is given away. The garden offers a variety of herbs, including basil, thyme, rosemary, parsley, sage and cilantro, as well as fresh produce, including cabbage, eggplant, zucchini, cucumbers, tomatoes and peppers.  The main purpose of the garden is to get people out to learn more about organic produce.  You can follow what’s happening at the garden by following the Garden Blog written by Jess.  Volunteers are always welcome!

Solar Project

Rider University, along with PSE&G and Alteris Renewables installed a 740kW solar panel array in the back field of campus behind the softball field and visible from Interstate 95. The installation of the solar field was done in the most environmentally friendly way possible: no trees were removed, no wetlands disturbed, and the grass under the panels is shade tolerant.  Rider’s solar array is producing 920,000 kWh, or enough energy to power 92 homes, which is equivalent to: reducing CO2 emissions by 34,580,526lbs over the course of 25 years, planting 17,074 trees, taking 127.4 vehicles off the road each year, and eliminating the use of 74,902 gallons of gasoline each year. The solar field is a land lease through the PSE&G Solar4All program, meaning that the energy from the solar panels does not go directly to Rider; instead it is converted then goes into the grid.  Rider benefits indirectly from the production of renewable energy and generates revenue from the land lease to be used for sustainability initiatives on campus.