Saint John’s currently diverts 43% of its solid waste from the landfill and is committed to increasing recycling and reducing waste on campus. (See the pie chart below.)
In 2007, SJU adopted a commingled recycling system. Now, all common recyclables can be put into a single container. This streamlined system eliminates the need to sort most things. Studies have shown people to be more likely to recycle when they don’t have to separate items.
Reducing, reusing and recycling have both environmental and economic benefits.
- Protects natural resources : Recycling reduces virgin resource consumption and also diverts materials from entering the landfill which can leak leachate (environmentally harmful liquid) into underground water supplies.
- Conserves energy: It takes far less energy to recycle an aluminum can than it does to create a new one—that’s enough to run a TV for three hours! With the energy saved from recycled glass, plastics, and aluminum, Minnesotans saved enough energy to power the cities of Duluth, Rochester, St. Cloud, and the Twin Cities for a year.
- Creates jobs: Over 20,000 people are employed in the recycling industry in Minnesota alone. In 2006, the materials recycled were worth $436,000,000 to Minnesota.
- Saves money: It simply costs more to take away waste from campus than it does recycling, because we do not pay taxes on recycling.