For the greater good

And a beautiful campus

FLC's campus covered in fresh snow and glowing in late afternoon sunlight

What we do with our stuff is paramount in building a better future for all. Things don't just disappear when we're done using them, and the landfill is not a one-size-fits-all answer. Fortunately, we have choices and knowledge about what works. At FLC, we support sustainability with recycling, composting, and re-use programs to divert from landfills the stuff we're done using.

Re-use & purchasing

Residence Hall Move-out Collections

Every spring when students move out of the residence halls, students from the Environmental Center, with support from Student Housing staff and volunteers, collect usable clothes and household items. Items are saved over the summer and given away to students at the start of fall semester during the Move-In Free Store event. Excess items are all donated to local thrift stores.

Surplus Program

The FLC Purchasing Department manages a surplus program that accepts furniture and office supply donations from departments across campus. These donations are made available to other staff and faculty members for their departmental needs as an alternative to buying new products.

Free Store

The Environmental Center hosts a weekly campus free thrift store called the Free Store. Anyone on campus can participate by donating or picking up items. The Free Store keeps usable items out of the landfill by following the old saying: “One person’s trash is another person’s treasure!”

Green Purchasing

It is a Fort Lewis College best practice to use Green Seal and EcoLogo certified paper and chemical janitorial products. In addition, no bleach is used on campus. Hydrogen peroxide-based cleaners are used as a greener bleach alternative.

FLC student carrying a box of stuff to his residence hall; FLC facilitates the re-use of student items as part of its sustainability efforts

Minimizing food waste


Fort Lewis College diverts over ten thousand pounds of food waste each year from the dining hall, turning it into nutrient-rich garden soil. The Environmental Center oversees the campus composting program which utilizes an in-vessel “Rocket” composter. The program gives student workers the chance to learn and develop skills around food waste diversion and composting management. FLC also subscribes to a local composting service, Table to Farm Compost, to capture excess food waste from dining services and to allow us to expand our food waste composting efforts across campus.

Reusable Lunch Containers

Fort Lewis College is proud to offer reusable to-go containers to all diners on campus. Simply grab a green container wherever you are grabbing food to-go. Bring your container back (dirty is fine, we have a magnificent dish machine) and repeat for your next meal.

Water Bottle Filling Stations

Just say no to plastic bottles and the waste they create. Fill your water bottle in one of the water bottle filling stations on campus or make use of the water fountains located in every building.

Compost from San Juan Dining Hall feeds the soil in the campus garden as part of our sustainability plan


Fort Lewis College has recycling throughout campus and ties into the City of Durango recycling system. Paper/cardboard, aluminum/steel cans, and recyclable plastics are all accepted together in the same “single-stream” bins. Glass is collected in separate bins, and large cardboard boxes should be placed alongside recycling collection stations outside buildings.

Items that are NOT recyclable include: Any items with excessive food or liquid residue, paper to-go food containers, plastic bags or plastic films of any kind, food wrappers, napkins and paper towels, Styrofoam, “compostable” plastics, and coffee cups (but the plastic lid and cardboard sleeve are recyclable). The City of Durango offers a comprehensive list of recyclable items. If you have questions about the FLC system, you can email Environmental Center staff.

Please utilize the following recycling signs and labels as needed in your office or building:

Recycling Special Items

The Environmental Center currently accepts HP ink-jets, HP toner cartridges and batteries through its extended recycling program. FLC students, staff, and faculty can drop off items in the EC office, Student Union 145. This program cannot accept any items from home and can only accept HP brand ink jets and toner cartridges. Batteries and electronics from home can be recycled on Saturdays at the City of Durango Recycling Center. Additionally, many major office and electronic stores such as Office Depot accept ink jets and other electronics for recycling. Hazardous materials are managed through the FLC Environmental Health & Safety Office.

FLC maintains recycling bins across campus as part of its sustainability efforts