General Information

Get Involved

Recycling on Campus


General Information

  • What is Sustainability?

Sustainability simply means the efficient use of resources. UNT Health Science Center defines sustainability as operating our campus in a way that meets our needs today without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs (adjusted from the Brundtland Commission 1987).  We aim to make our campus more sustainable by using energy efficiently, conserving water, minimizing waste and recycling, encouraging eco-friendly practices, etc.  Learn more.

  • What is the purpose of the Office of Sustainability?

The Office of Sustainability is located within Facilities Management.  The purpose of the office is to partner with various departments and persons on campus and in the community to implement sustainable practices on campus.  We also provide a resource and contact for our students, faculty, staff, and alumni, and develop UNTHSC’s strategy plan for sustainability on campus.

  • This university is a health science center, so why do we care about sustainability?

In educating people to adopt healthy behaviors, we promote eating right and exercising. In the same way we promote these actions, we should encourage environmental stewardship since the health of our environment affects community health. Many health issues are directly related to the quality of our water and air. In fact, according to the World Health Organization (WHO), about 1.3 million deaths a year result from urban air pollution  (link).  Furthermore, the healthcare industry is a significant consumer of energy and water and generates considerable amounts of waste. The industry has a responsibility to adopt sustainable practices in order to efficiently use its resources and minimize environmental impacts.

Besides improving the health and quality of people, sustainability makes cents! Due to sustainable measures implemented by UNTHSC’s Energy Savings Performance Contract, the university has saved over $5 million dollars as of 2012. This means the campus can spend less on energy and more on other needs.

  • How do I contact the Office of Sustainability?

Phone: 817-735-2451

Email: sustainability@unthsc.edu

Physical Location: Facilities Management Building (FMB) Room 110

  • How do I keep up with sustainability news, events, and what’s happening on campus?

To keep up with UNTHSC Sustainability sign up for our newsletters, “Like” our Facebook page, and visit our page on OrgSync.

  • What is the Environmental Services Fee?

In March of 2010, students from the Medical Student Government Association approached the university with a recommendation to implement a fee to support recycling and energy conservation on campus. The fee proposal was discussed in an open forum in October 2010, and it went to a student vote in November of that year. Of the students eligible to vote, 87% cast ballots and of those voters, 67% voted in favor of adding the fee. In the fall of 2011, the Environmental Service Fee began to be collected as authorized in accordance with Texas Education Code Sec. 54.5041. Students pay a maximum of $30 annually for the fee, and the fee generates approximately $45,000 per year. The Office of Sustainability uses these funds in accordance with the legislation and maintains transparency in how the funds are used. Costs not authorized by these funds will be covered by Facilities Management or through grants and rebate programs.

Get Involved

  • I am a student. What opportunities are available for me to get involved with sustainability on campus?

There are many opportunities for students to get involved on campus from taking the Sustainability Pledge to serving as a Sustainability Liaison.  Learn
more about getting involved

  • I am an employee on campus. What opportunities are available for me to get involved with sustainability on campus?

Whether you’re faculty or staff, there are many opportunities to get involved on campus. The Sustainability Committee currently meets twice a semester or you can serve as a Sustainability Liaison for your department/office. Learn
more about getting involved

  • Does the Office of Sustainability offer internships?

Currently we do not offer internships. However, if you are interested in volunteering, please contact the Office of Sustainability for more information.

  • I have an idea for a project on campus. Who do I contact?

The Office of Sustainability is pleased to receive suggestions and ideas for future projects on campus. Through the Environmental Services Fee, we have a budget for such projects. Contact us and let us know what you want to see done!

Recycling on Campus

  • What can I recycle on campus?

UNTHSC offers co-mingled recycling services for our campus community. Receptacles for trash and recycling are located throughout campus.

Items included in the co-mingled recycling are*:

Plastic Containers #1-5, 6– look for the recycle sign and number

Paper Products such as magazines, office paper, newspaper, brown paper bags, junk mail, and phonebooks

Paperboard such as frozen dinner boxes, cereal boxes, ink cartridge boxes, milk cartons, etc.

Cardboard (broken down)

Glass Bottles and Jars

Aluminum Cans

Tin or Steel Cans such as canned goods

* Please rinse items that contained food before placing in co-mingled recycling.

Items NOT included in the recycling are:

Paper towels

Glassware from labs


Plastic Bags

Plastic Wraps

Food Waste

More information on why you should recycle, where to recycle, and campus recycling reports.

  • What is co-mingled?

Co-mingled recycling is where all recyclable items can be collected in one container rather than having to sort each item by type.  This collection method is what we use here on campus and is intended to make recycling as convenient as possible.

  • My apartment doesn’t have recycling. Is there a dumpster on campus I can use?

UNTHSC does have dumpsters on campus. However, we don’t encourage people other than our facilities staff to use them. This just ensures that we place items in the right dumpster and the waste stream stays consistent. To find places in your area that does accept public recycling, check out Earth911.com. It’s a website that helps you locate recycling in your area.

  • I see custodial staff putting recyclables in the same cart as trash. What can be done?

When the custodial staff picks up trash and recycling each day, all the goods go in a single cart separated by a trash/recycling divider. Therefore, while it may appear that everything is being thrown away, it is actually being transported in a single container to the appropriate dumpsters.

  • I see recyclables in the trash container/dumpster. What can be done?

If you see a custodial staff member putting recyclable materials into the trash dumpster outside, please contact the Office of Sustainability.

  • How do we let the campus know what is recyclable?

There are signs on each trash/recycle container which show what items are recyclable on campus. If you see one that doesn’t have a sign, please contact the Office of Sustainability. Also, sometimes people aren’t sure what can be recycled. One of the strategies to help educate and motivate people to adopt sustainable practices is the creation of Sustainability Liaisons on campus. The Sustainability Liaisons will serve as conduits of information between the Office of Sustainability and the different departments/offices on campus. Want to learn more? Click here to get involved.


  • What is our campus to doing to be more sustainable?

From energy conservation to our buildings, UNTHSC is working to become a sustainable and environmentally friendly campus. Learn about all the ways we are working to accomplish this.

  • I heard that UNTHSC offers a discounted parking pass. How do I find more information?

The UNTHSC‘s Police Department offers a 20% discount on parking permits to drivers of low emission vehicles (LEVs) and fuel efficient vehicles (FEVs). Find out if your car qualifies and how to get the discount.

This page was last modified on December 5, 2018