Environmental Center

student recycling trash

The Environmental Center has always been a leader in reducing waste and advancing recycling in the region beyond FLC as well. In fact, the EC itself grew from a student-organized paper recycling program in 1986 and later became the first to offer plastic recycling in Durango and household battery recycling.

The Zero-Waste program works hard to help Fort Lewis College keep solid waste out of landfills through recycling and composting efforts. Fort Lewis Physical Plant Services maintains the primary campus recycling program while our team continuously searches for new materials to recycle and new ways to reduce!

Team Efforts and Resources:

Free Store: We provide a reciprocal donation thrift service for the FLC community every week. Instead of throwing things away, folks can drop off their unwanted items and pick up any items they may need. The Free Store offers everything from clothing to furniture to office supplies! Donations are accepted at the EC during any regular business hours; check out our events page to see when the Free Store is open to browse!

Extended Recycling: The Environmental Center currently accepts ink-jets and toner cartridges, batteries, and CFL light bulbs for our extended recycling program. Stop by our office in Student Union 145 to drop off your items. FLC students, staff, and faculty campus-use items only, please! We cannot currently accept items from home. The City of Durango does offer an electronics recycling for residents that includes battery services. Our program is always looking to expand and see how we can capture more hard-to-recycle items. Please contact us with any ideas or requests!

Rocket Composter: We successfully reduce food waste in our campus dining hall by operating a commercial-grade composting system. The program is a collaborative effort between the Environmental Center and our dining services provider, Sodexo.

FLC Recycling: The Fort Lewis College Physical Plant Recycling page has information about recycling services provided on campus.

City of Durango: The City of Durango has a full service recycling program - a service that our team advocated for in 1993!

Southwest Colorado Council of Governemnts Regional Recycling: SWCCOG hosts a website that has great resources and links to all the regional recycling programs in southwest Colorado.

Recycling Resources: Every year we take on different programming and outreach efforts to educate our community about recycling best practicies. Check out this helpful resource from Waste Management. Though every community is different, this site really helps to understand the recycling process of different materials at a deeper level. If you have any helpful resources such as this, please share them with us!

Annual Campus Move-Out Collection: Our Zero Waste team organizes an annual collection at the end of the school year for students moving out of their dorms and apartments on campus. The items are made available to local community members and organizations during the drive, and additional items are stored over the summer and offered to students moving in the following Fall semester.

Waste Audit 2010: A campus-wide waste audit revealed that 20% of FLC trash was actually recyclable, and 18% of the trash was potentially compostable. We intend to help FLC reduce our waste stream by 40% through education and coordination.