Sustainability and Stewardship | Albright College

Sustainability and Stewardship

Albright College is committed to sustainability as a way of life.

Trex uses recycled plastic film and bags to make eco-friendly composite decks.
They are sponsoring a challenge throughout the country to collect plastic for their decks.
If we collect 500+ pounds of plastic film and bags in 6 months, they will donate a composite bench to our school!

We will be collecting Nov. 15, 2018 – May 15, 2019.
Bins are located in the following locations:
• Master’s Hall, 1st Floor
• Library, outside of Writing Center
• Science Hall, Main Lobby
• Student Center, Information Desk
• Schumo Center, Front Desk
• Camp Building, 2nd Floor
• Roessner Hall, 2nd Floor near kitchen
• Rockland Hall, Main Lobby
• Mohn Hall, Main Lobby

What can be recycled?
• Grocery bags
• Bread bags
• Case overwrap
• Dry cleaning bags
• Newspaper sleeves
• Ice bags
• Wood pellet bags
• Ziplock and other reclosable bags
• Produce bags
• Bubble wrap
• Salt bags
• Cereal bags
All plastic must be clean, dry and free of food residue.

Albright Community Garden Blog

The Committee for Sustainability and Stewardship was created by the President to initiate and support environmental policies, actions and programs at Albright College and to ensure that environmental concerns are considered in all aspects of the College’s decision making. Our mission is to determine how to improve energy conservation, address environmental issues on campus and educate students, faculty and staff on the importance of environmental consciousness.

Committee members represent all areas essential to sound environmental decision making, including: faculty from a range of disciplines; staff from key areas including Facilities Services and Operations; Student Affairs, Housing and Residential Learning, Food Service and College Relations; and students representing the Student Government Association, Albright Environmental Campus Outreach (ECO) and other interested student groups.

This video by Republic Services shows the inner workings of a Materials Recovery Facility (MRF). The piece offers excellent background on waste generation trends, recycling opportunities and the processing of recyclable materials.

View The Plan
View The 2010 Campus Assessment

October 2018 College Month Competition

Albright College won second place, out of six other schools, in the Commuter Services of PA’s College Month Competition during October.
Frank Kobe ’19 was the lucky winner of a Kindle Fire in the College Month raffle between all six schools!

12 faculty, staff and students participated with a total of 254 green trips, 790 miles not driven, 704 tons of emissions prevented, $431 saved and 9,049 calories burned.

Albright College Participants (in order of their rank):
1. Alison Burke, walk/bike
2. Heidi Eckman, walk
3. Justin Schooley, bike
4. Brian Jennings, walk
5. Frank Kobe, carpool/walk
6. Suzanne Spriggs, carpool/walk
7. Shayla Gaither, transit
8. Todd Vogel, walk
9. Kimberly Liu, carpool/walk
10. Kelly, Tanger, walk
11. Jacque Fetrow, walk
12. Hillen Grason, walk

In October, Albright College competed in Commuter Services of PA’s “College Month,” an initiative to raise awareness of alternative transportation. 12 participants from Albright tracked all of their green transportation and helped Albright win second place, out of 6 other PA schools!12 faculty, staff and students participated with a total of 254 green trips, 790 miles not driven, 704 tons of emissions prevented, $431 saved and 9,049 calories burned.To see a list of the
Albright participants and how they ranked, go here.For more information about Commuter Services PA and their rewards programs go here.Below: Frank Kobe ’19 was the lucky winner of a Kindle Fire in the College Month raffle between all six schools!

Trex uses recycled plastic film and bags to make eco-friendly composite decks.
They are sponsoring a challenge throughout the country to collect plastic for their decks. If we collect 500+ pounds of plastic film and bags in 6 months, they will donate a composite bench to our school.
We have already collected 36.5 pounds in the first two weeks!
Go here for bin locations, acceptable materials and more information.
We will be collecting plastic in the container below, Nov. 15, 2018 – May 15, 2019.

The Facilities Department and the Committee on Sustainability and Stewardship have developed a more efficient way to collect and remove trash and recycling on our campus.

Beginning January 2, 2019, the main trash and recycling receptacles will be placed together in central locations in each building. Faculty and staff will be responsible for taking the contents of their recycling and trash containers to these central receptacles each day. Facilities personnel will continue to collect and transport trash and recycling to both central receptacles and outside the buildings.

Many faculty and staff already place their recyclable materials in the centralized containers, but we can all pitch in and help this effort. Go here to see the benefits of switching to this new process.

Albright uses single-stream recycling. This allows us to place all metal, glass, mixed paper, cardboard and plastics in one container. Go here for more information on recycling materials.

We welcome any feedback on sustainability concerns. Send your comments, questions, or suggestions to Leslie Fazio, custodial manager, at, or to the Committee on Sustainability and Stewardship at

Thank you to the following students who emailed us about how they use less waste.

Bryan Lineweaver ’20 said that he uses cloth towels to dry his hands and dishes in his apartment. He also uses non disposable dishes and silverware. When Brian and his friends get takeout food, they will ask to have their food without a bag.

Deborah Afolabi ’22 and her roommate reuse their plastic bags and use reusable shopping bags. They also buy used books and walk everywhere.

Alma Felix ’19 says that she opts for email receipts at the bank, receives and pays her bills online, reuses gift bags, saves vegetable scraps for stock, uses refillable coffee cups, carpools and donates her old clothes.

For more information on how to achieve a zero waste lifestyle go here. We are always looking for ways to help eliminate the waste that goes into our landfills. Please email with ideas you may have to help us achieve a zero waste campus.

Albright College has teamed up with Commuter Services of PA to compete in College Month during October. Track your green commutes during your work day, around campus, restaurants, shopping and more. Any mode of green transportation will give us points against other PA schools. Record your trips on your phone by downloading the Commute PA app and you will be entered to win a Kindle Fire, Commute PA pack and many other prizes. You can also register here and record your tips online here. Be sure to include Albright College as your Organization Name in your profile. You will also earn points that you can use to enter into a variety of gift card raffles. Post a picture of your green commute with #lionsonwheels and win a Lions on Wheels t-shirt!Be sure to check our campus bicycle policy here and the our updated map containing all the back rack locations on campus here.For more information about College Month at Commuter Services of PA click here. Save money, be green and win prizes!

Would you like fresh, organic veggies, meat, poultry, cheese, fruit and more delivered right to campus for you? Well then it’s time to sign up for the Fall 2018 CSA program. The shares will be distributed in the Schumo Center for Fitness and Well-Being on a weekly basis. Deliveries are tentatively set-up for Wednesdays and pick-up is from 12-6 p.m. Your costs directly support farmers. For more information go here.

Weigh the Waste is a fun and interactive way to engage fellow students in understanding just how much place waste an individual can produce at the end of a meal. We can improve our eating habits by understanding our waste – taking only what we know we will eat, not getting our food all at once, and asking for small samples when we want to try a dish. We save energy, CO2, water and ultimately the planet and the people who live on it by reducing our waste. Participate Wednesday, November 14 from 5-7 p.m. For more information go here.

February 2018
April 2018

Trash and Recycling Process
The main trash and recycling receptacles in each building are placed together in central and convenient locations on each floor. Faculty and staff are responsible for taking the recycling and trash containers in their offices and emptying them into these central receptacles each day. Facilities collects and transports trash and recycled materials from classrooms and other public spaces to both the central receptacles and outside the buildings.What are the benefits of this process?1. We are improving efficiencies that have a direct result on the labor shortage in the Facilities Department. The Facilities Department saves 16 hours of labor per week that go towards the grounds crew focusing more attention on campus beautification and the custodial team providing more thorough and detailed cleaning in the buildings.2. Highlights the importance of recycling by helping the College move toward an eventual goal of zero waste. Eliminates the need for a gas-powered utility vehicle, currently used by the grounds crew, to make separate trash and recycling runs. Eliminating the use of this vehicle ultimately decrease our carbon footprint on campus.Questions, email Leslie Fazio, custodial manager, at or The Committee on Sustainability and Stewardship at

Zero Waste Initiatives

Below are a few ways to help us achieve a zero waste campus and eliminate waste that goes into our landfills.

  • Take notes electronically
  • Take screen shots of important information and store in electronic folders
  • Ask vendors to send PDF quotes and invoices instead of paper files
  • Use reusable bags/totes
  • Use refillable water bottles and coffee cups
  • Recycle
  • Compost
  • Use only what you need
  • Use non disposable dishes and silverware instead of paper plates and plastic utensils
  • Use cloth dish towels instead of paper towels
  • Buy and donate used clothes, furniture and household products
  • Go digital
  • Be an environmental bookworm: rent your books or buy used; read eBooks
  • Use less paper
  • Opt for email receipts
  • Receive and pay bills online
  • Reuse gift bags
  • Save vegetable scraps for stock
  • Carpool

The new Albright College Science Center will be LEED certified.
The new building was designed to be both environmentally friendly and friendly to faculty and students who collaborate and share instrumentation across disciplines. Phase I of the project, 40,000 square feet of new construction, is slated to be completed in summer 2010. Phase II, the complete renovation of the existing Merner-Pfeiffer Hall of Science is scheduled to be completed by spring 2011.

Albright Uses Single-Stream Recycling
Single-stream recycling allows us to place all metal, glass, mixed paper, cardboard and plastics in one container. There is no need to separate since the single-stream recycling process allows all recyclables to be mixed together. All containers must be empty, rinsed or wiped clean of food and beverage items.

Acceptable Recyclable Materials:

Metal: aluminum cans; steel cans; tin cans; foil packaging; aluminum trays, plates and foil; empty aerosol cans; labels are ok; no scrap metal

clear and colored glass bottles; clear and colored glass jars; clean beverage containers; labels are ok; no dishes or ceramic

Mixed Paper:
newspaper; magazines; mail; phone books; computer paper; flyers; wrapping paper (no foil or plastic wrap); white and colored paper; catalogs; soft-cover books; paper bags; shredded paper; if it tears, it’s recyclable; staples, tape and labels are ok; no paper plates, cups or napkins

Cardboard: corrugated cardboard and boxboard packaging

Plastic Containers: containers made from plastics #1-7; plastic bottles and jugs; blisterpaks; labels are ok; no filmy plastic bags, plastic wrappers or styrofoam, even if marked as #6

Unacceptable Materials: ceramics, dishes, coffee cups, drinking glasses, glass oven ware, pyrex, VisionWare, window glass, mirrors, light bulbs, plastics without #1-7 labeling, plastic bags, styrofoam, bubble wrap, tissue or paper towels, wax paper, metallic or coated paper, waxed boxes and toys. No food or drink allowed.

Armory RecycleWe recycled a whole building! Well, 95 percent of it… The long vacant former Reading Army Reserve Center, deeded to the College by the Department of the Army through the City of Reading was demolished in 2009. The College remediated materials from the building’s interior for clean fill. Brick, mortar and concrete products were pulverized to aggregate for leveling the site instead of trucking the debris to a land fill.

Paper, wood, plastic, newspaper, aluminum, cardboard, glass and steel are recycled.

We reprocess motor oil and antifreeze per EPA guidelines.

Special project recycling; Stone and various building materials are recycled and/or reused on campus. For example: Shirk Stadium turf drainage project resulted in recycling over twenty tons of modified stone which was redistributed to stone parking lots and storage for future use.

The excavated subsoil removed from the Science Center construction site was used for land redevelopment elsewhere on campus, creating a savings in both trucking soil off site and later trucking additional soil to the site for development.

Food Service recycles all cardboard, plastic and glass, newspaper, as well as recycling waste fryer oil, which is reused as heating fuel.

We use recycled materials, for example,

  • Campus identification signage hung from posts made from recycled post-consumer plastics.
  • Carpet tile made of recycled material. When worn, it’s shipped back to the factory to be recycled rather than disposed of in a land fill. The adhesive used allows for the product to be easily lifted and replaced should any tile be damaged.
  • Flooring made of 45 percent post-consumer recycled fiber uses about 45 percent less material than virgin timber.
  • All paper products are made with recycled fiber.
  • Food Service uses nearly 100 percent compostable paper products in the Dining Hall, Grab and Go, Jake’s Java and Jake’s Place.

Albright uses Green Seal Certified cleaning products that are formulated with less volatile organic compounds (VOCs) so they are less toxic to people and the environment. Our cleaning solutions are hydrogen peroxide and citric acid based.

We use microfiber technology for mopping and wiping. This not only reduces work for Food Service staff but also greatly reduces our usage of cleaning solutions.

Food Services converted to Green Chemicals APEX for all ware washing, pots and pans, pre-wash and sanitized rinse agents. Albright was one of the first colleges to do so.

Food Services also implemented practices that reduced the run time on the dishwasher by two hours per day.

Albright replaces outdated lighting with compact fluorescents whenever possible.

We have installed motion sensors in selected locations to turn lights off when rooms are not in use.

Facilities is eliminating older T12 lighting and improving lighting with T8 lamps with electronic ballasts, thus using less wattage per room.

Facilities works to keep heating and cooling equipment at peak performance for energy savings. As older equipment is retired, it is replaced with state-of-the-art energy efficient equipment.

The campus Energy Management Controls System allows for monitoring and set-back of space temperatures, allowing a reduction in consumption.

Conventional flush valves in toilets are being replaced wherever possible with water-saving sensors.

Albright is known for its lovely, green campus, lush with abundant trees and flowering plants and shrubs.Maintaining outdoor green spaces is important. For example, an outdoor switchgear enclosure was redesigned to be incorporated into an existing structure in order to maintain an outdoor green area.

Mulch and grass clippings are reused as organic feed matter for turf areas. This also reduces landfill waste. The Grounds Crew uses low emissions equipment (compliant with Environmental Protection Agencies {EPA} Phase II emissions standard, January 2005) — push mowers, string trimmers, chainsaws, leaf blowers and weed whackers, and annually converts to all “low e” small engines where applicable.

Conservative drip irrigation systems have been installed in place of pop-up systems, reducing water consumption.

Drought tolerant plant selections and “zero-scape” planting (designs which include very low maintenance selections such as ornamental grasses and native plants) reduce water, nutrient and maintenance needs.

Frequent over-seeding programs implemented. Rather than incorporate heavy fertilizer and herbicide applications, we over-seed regularly to promote healthy stands. We also are a little more “weed friendly — tolerating a few more weeds on areas not used for sports lowers chemical and fertilizer applications significantly over time.

All herbicides, grounds chemicals and landscape materials are disposed of per EPA guidelines.

BeesWhen a huge hive of bees was found under the eaves of White Chapel, the College called in an expert to capture and relocate the bees to his own hives. Now our honeybee relocation process relocates valuable honey bee colonies as they are found around campus.Integrated Pest Management (IPM) strategies track and monitor pests and diseases, thus reducing applications of pesticides and herbicides.

Removal of litter and debris daily reduces the need for extensive rodent and pest control programs.

To encourage more student bikes on campus, we installed 12 bike racks and educate and encourage students to ride to class as an alternative to driving. View the Campus Bike Rack Map. Utility vehicles are alternatives to pick-up trucks; three smaller, fuel efficient carts are used daily to transport employees and materials around campus.

The Albright Dining Hall has been trayless since 2007- one of the first colleges to do so. This reduces water consumption from washing trays!Cooking with (less) gas, Food Services replaces old equipment with much more energy efficient equipment.

The College converted the majority of bottled water systems throughout campus to filtrated water. This also helps to reduce the number of delivery trucks on campus..

We work with many local companies, Wegman’s Poultry, Turkey Hill Dairy, Maier’s bakery, ATV Bakery, Instant Whip, Clover Farms, Berks Packing, 4 Seasons Produce, many others.

Food Services trades with companies with sound sustainability practices, for example Wegman’s Poultry is raised without hormones and antibiotics, is grain fed, and local with less than 50 miles of total transportation involved.

Coffee grounds from Jake’s Java coffee bar are recycled into our herb garden.

Food Services works to minimize food waste with portion control on the food lines and batch cooking techniques in the kitchen. A value-added purchasing program also stabilizes spikes in the commodity market and has eliminated significant food waste.

ECO is the student-run environmental club at Albright College. Their mission is to increase awareness among the college community about the wide range of environmental issues facing our world today.

Executive Board, Spring 2012
Craig Smith ’13, President
Mariena Hurley ’13, Vice President
Nicole Bluemer ’14, Treasurer
Chellsey Labik ’14, Secretary
Jordan Bonte ’13, SGA Representative
Nicolette Kohler ’15, Trip Coordinator

Recent activities have included:

  • Hosted a screening of the documentary YERT directed by Mark Dixon
  • Helped to start the Albright Community Garden located next to the Geiser House
  • Hosted a screening of Gasland, directed by Josh Fox. A film chronicling the impacts of hydraulic fracturing for natural gas in the United States
  • Volunteered at the local state park, Nolde Forest
  • Visiting the annual PA Renewable Energy and Sustainable Living Festival
  • Attending Powershift in Washington D.C., an event which brings environmental leaders from around the country together to discuss how to mobilize a growing environmental movement
  • Group trip to see The Lorax in theaters

ECO continues to strive to do more on campus and is open to any persons or organizations that would like to help make Albright greener. They may be contacted by email at