Rider recognized for program that diverts single-use bottles

In one year, the program resulted in diverting more than 10,000 bottles

Rider University received a Groundbreaker Award for diverting more than 10,000 single-use bottles as part of its partnership with Cupanion.

Diverting so many bottles has the equivalency of saving 5,660 kWh of power and 300 pounds of waste.

"Having more than 10,000 refills in the first year of the program exceeded my expectations and I'm looking forward to seeing the program grow," says Melissa Greenberg, the University's sustainability manager.

The Office of Sustainability started the Cupanion program in 2018. It is designed to encourage people to choose reusable bottles and cups and to move away from single-use options. By participating in the Cupanion Fill it Forward program, students receive rewards for reducing their environmental impact and being more sustainable by tracking their usage through an app.

In 2009, Rider began installing bottle fill stations as part of a separate initiative that have diverted more than four million bottles from becoming waste.

"Partnering with Cupanion and rolling out the Fill it Forward rewards program made sense with so many convenient refill stations available," Greenberg says.

Rider is regularly recognized for its sustainability efforts. It has been selected as one of the 399 most environmentally responsible colleges in the nation by the Princeton Review for nine straight years and is a charter member of Second Nature's American College and University Presidents' Carbon Commitment, now called the Carbon Commitment. As part of the commitment, Rider continues to make progress toward its goal of becoming carbon neutral by 2050 and is currently positioned to meet this goal early.

More than 65% of Rider’s energy use is currently offset by national wind energy, a renewable source. The University's on-campus trigeneration energy plant, which opened in 2014, also reduces the amount of electricity Rider must purchase from the grid and has contributed to our reduction of carbon emissions.

Rider’s Office of Sustainability also hosts events to inform and educate the University community about environmental issues, such as its annual Green Film Series, National Campus Sustainability Day and other on-campus events