SFCC’s Sustainability and Recycling Program

In November 2014, Recycling Clerk Patrick McCoy presented a comprehensive overview of SFCC’s Sustainability and Recycling Program and goals. Increased efforts to reduce SFCC’s carbon footprint have resulted in new initiatives including a recycling scholarship for a Trades and Technology student and some impressive numbers – more than 30,000 pounds of waste recycled.

From 2014:

  • In 6 months we have recycled over 1,500 pounds of glass, 262 pounds of aluminum, 1,580 pounds of steel, 4,680 pounds of paper and a whopping 21,083 pounds of cardboard!
  • Recycling waste from off-campus vendor partner Bicycle Technologies International (BTI) contributed $2,200 to date, to the Recycling Scholarship
  • SFCC now recycles additional plastic items including clam shells (salad-type containers), yogurt and cottage cheese tubs
  • We are making future plans for large-scale composting of food waste.

Read the full Recycling PowerPoint Presentation here.

Cardboard and Paper

Recycling efforts at SFCC begin with the largest volume item – OCC, or Old Corrugated Cardboard. We recycle a minimum of 10 tons a year, up to a maximum of 26 tons. Surprisingly, for an academic institution, mixed paper (colored and white paper, newsprint and green fiber like phone books) equals only about 1 ton a year, due to the efforts of committed SFCC students, faculty and staff.

Cans and Bottles

Next comes plastic and aluminum – from soda cans to milk bottles. We have bins for #1 and #2 bottles, plus aluminum cans, in all areas of the campus, usually placed near trashcans to cause people to think twice – landfill or recycle? The aluminum cans are flattened into sheets, then baled into blocks and sold to a commercial recycler. We recycle approximately 1500 pounds per year of both aluminum and plastic. SFCC has recently begun recycling glass bottles, with bins located in the Campus Center, by the Library and next to the East Wing Eatery.

All proceeds from SFCC’s recycling efforts are converted to student scholarship funds through the SFCC Foundation.


An initiative many people aren’t aware of is E-waste recycling – at SFCC we collect batteries and light bulbs as well as old computers, monitors, LED screens and televisions and make sure they don’t go into the landfill. We even use an extractor to remove toxic mercury from light bulbs and batteries.

cardboardThe Ecovim food dehydrator

Food and Green Waste

Finally, SFCC has begun recycling food waste, through the Culinary Arts Program kitchens. We recycle non-meat kitchen scraps two ways – first, through worm composting, feeding scraps directly to worms in outside bins. The worm castings are used as fertilizer and soil conditioner in the Culinary Arts Garden.

We also recycle food waste in the Ecovim, an environmental machine that dehydrates food waste. Vegetable peelings, eggshells and other scraps can be reduced by up to 90% in volume in just hours. The final output is a highly concentrated organic soil amendment that enriches the landscape and garden. The only other by-product is reclaimable water that can be used on the SFCC grounds.  We have begun recycling “green waste” from our landscaping and returning it to the soil as mulch.

Join the recycling efforts at SFCC. Please help us continue to do our part to advance sustainability on our campus and in our community.