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East Tennessee State University


History of the ETSU Department of Sustainability

new signIn 2008, ETSU formed the Department of Sustainability in order to advance the University’s triple bottom line performance of ecological integrity, economic prosperity, and social equity. ETSU recognized the need to expand its commitment to environmental sustainability of campus operations in light of record breaking academic enrollment and tightening budget restrictions for the State-funded school. The Department is administered by the Facilities Management Division and is led by Director Kathleen Moore.

As part of the commitment to sustainability, Campus Sustainability Fees were approved as part of student admissions fees in Fall 2008, at the rate of $5 per student per semester. In accordance with Tennessee Board of Regents (TBR) Guideline B-065 (2010), proceeds would be administered by the Campus Sustainability Fee Committee, and would be used to fund Certified Green Power Purchases or other on-campus sustainability initiatives.

ETSU’s recycling efforts were started over 20 years ago by a group of students who were interested in recycling aluminum cans and paper. This informal arrangement continued until 2008 when a formal recycling program was developed and a full time staff member was assigned to direct recycling efforts and increase the waste diversion rate. In 2009 the first recycling center was built and ETSU expanded the recycling program to include many more items which resulted in doubling of the diversion rate to 20%.Subsequent efforts including a mini-bin collection system and various waste diversion tactic have resulted in another doubling of the waste diversion rate to 40%. To accommodate the increased demand a new recycling center was built in 2016.

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