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Housing Sustainability Re-Cap

Posted by Quinn Connolly on March 27, 2023

Below is an email exchange regarding University Housing recycling:

It was great talking with all of you about sustainability in University Housing. I hope my input didn’t scare you too much. Given our size, and the number off residents we house, we have to maintain some discipline in how we communicate to and interact with our residents. I’m sure we can find a viable method for reaching our residents to inform them of sustainability issues and event across campus. Below are a few talking points I jotted down during out meeting.


  • Below are four key communication methods for reaching our residents.
  1. 11x17 posters in the dining halls. You would need to produce 200 posters to reach all the halls. I can share any drafts you have with various people in Housing to get their feedback before they are printed.
  2. Digital Signs Link:
  3. Dining hall napkin holders (I need to double check with Thurman Etchison on availability, or Meredith can ask him next time she talks with him)
  4. Housing Insider and Family and Graduate Housing Newsletter. The Housing insider a weekly newsletter we send to all undergraduate residents. The FGH Newsletter is sent to all graduate and apartment residents monthly. Notices in the Housing Insider are typically one and done. They don’t like to run the same notice for consecutive weeks at a time.
  • I attached our standard recycling container label. This is placed above all recycling containers in Housing and in the trash/recycling rooms in the residence halls.
  • Placement of a QR code on the residence hall room recycling containers, similar to what was displayed on the Don’t Waste It recycling containers. I suggest we wait until next summer when the students are not in the rooms to add this to the containers. It’s far less complicated if the residents are not in their rooms. Although, like Meredith suggested, we could explore providing the stickers at the residence hall front desks for the students to place on the containers themselves.
  • We discussed incorporating a short segment on sustainability in the RA training at the beginning of the academic year. I will bring this idea to the Residential Life leadership to get their thoughts.
  • We also discussed how we might be able to include components on sustainability in our programming to Housing residents. Nathan Sanden is responsible for implementing the Residential Curriculum, so I will share this idea with him for thoughts and input.


I ended up closing the meeting invite without saving, which I was using to keep notes during the meeting. So please let me know if I missed any key takeaways.





Hi Bryan,


Daphne Hulse and I have been developing plans for a campus-wide plastic waste reduction campaign. I think the communication methods you mention below could be valuable for messaging. If you agree, Daphne can incorporate these into the strategy.


We remain interested in adding a sticker with a QR code to the residence hall room recycling containers to direct students to a website with more information about recycling and waste management. Can you provide an estimate of how many stickers we would need?


I also want to follow up on your last two points about incorporating sustainability into RA training and programming to Housing residents. Our survey data indicate that first year students are more likely to purchase single-use plastic bottles, so we think targeting this group is important. Has Residential Life leadership and or Nathan Sanden responded to your inquiries concerning this issue?


If you would like to discuss any of these items further, Daphne and I would be happy to join you on a call.


Thank you,



Okay, I have some answers for you. Attached is our proposal to the SSC to fund the recycling containers. The original purchase was for 6,511 containers, but I would guess a few have disappeared by now. I was not able to find anyone within our Sustainability LLC to help mange this project or take on submitting another request to SSC to fund the stickers. If we move forward with this project, we will need to meet with Housing Facilities staff to iron out the logistical details. Our facilities staff will not be able to assist with placement of the stickers, so we will need to find a different avenue for getting them placed. I copied Matt Brown and Mark Kuehl from Housing Facilities on the email to keep them in the loop.


Herb Jones, Director of Residential Life, said he is open to a conversation to talk through your thoughts on incorporating a sustainability component into our RA training. Jenny Bates, copied here, manages his calendar, if you would like to reach out to her and schedule a time to meet.


Also, here is an updated link to Housing’s website for digital sign requests. We redesigned our webpage a couple months ago and the old link was inactive.


Also, also, I am still trying to confirm if we rent out the space on the napkin holders in the dining halls. We have not done this in the past, but we have a new Director of Dining who might have a different direction for these.








Thank you for sharing this information. It is all very helpful!


Daphne and I can look into developing an SSC proposal, perhaps with the assistance of our iCAP Engagement team. I think we can also find people to help with sticker placement if the project is funded.


We are looking forward to discussing incorporating a sustainability component into RA training with you on April 7 at 3:00 pm.