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Green Initiatives

  • Ceiling Tile Recycling

    Ceiling Tile Recycling

    It's always a challenge to walk the line between the necessary rehabilitation of buildings and dedication to environmental stewardship by minimizing the amount of solid waste produced.

    Armstrong, the company that produces ceiling tiles, has launched a program to help large facilities like ours maintain their "green" vision during the rehabilitation and remodeling process. The Armstrong Ceiling Recycling Program enables facilities to remove, stack and ship old ceiling tiles to an Armstrong recycling and re-manufacturing plants located around the country. Stony Brook began participating in this program in 2008, beginning with buildings such as Life Sciences and Engineering. To date, we have diverted 21,686 square feet of ceiling tiles for recycling. This equates to approximately 15,180 pounds, or 7.59 tons, of solid waste kept out of the waste stream and therefore, out of our landfills. There are numerous benefits to recycling our old ceiling tiles. Not only do we save money by not having to pay for the disposal of the tiles, there are countless environmental benefits, as well: the tiles are kept out of the landfills, natural resources are preserved, and we are able to reduce the University's carbon footprint as well as Armstrong's carbon footprint.

  • Environmentally Friendly Cleaning

    Environmentally Friendly Cleaning

    West Campus Custodial Services at Stony Brook University is committed to the University's mission of environmental sustainability through implementation and utilization of green cleaning and environmentally friendly practices. Achieving the balance of cleaning for health and for the environment, while maintaining fiscal prudence in a difficult economic climate, has been challenging. However, by converting our main cleaning chemicals and hand soap to Green Seal Certified products and by introducing "beyond green" technologies such as Active-Ion and ECO-H20 non-chemical cleaning programs, we are achieving that balance.

  • Greenhouse

    April showers bring May flowers...

    (Rainwater Harvesting System Facilities & Services Greenhouse)

    February 22, 2012

    rainwater harvesting system rainwater harvesting system

    Actually, with our new rainwater harvesting system, precipitation from any time of the year can be caught, stored and used to water the plants growing in the Facilities & Services greenhouse. The catchment system, located at the greenhouse in R&D Park, serves to enhance Stony Brook University's water conservation efforts. Re-using rainwater collected from the rooftop of the greenhouse is an environmentally advantageous (and economical) way to supply water for irrigation purposes. Rainwater harvesting conserves municipal water and well water, is low in salts and additives so it's good for plants, and can help reduce flooding and erosion in the immediate area. The project team even took sustainability a step further and created the cisterns by using drums re-purposed from the Campus Operations & Maintenance department! For more information on this Sustainability Story, please contact the Stony Brook University Office of Sustainability.

    by Susan Fusaro


    In the Spring of 2009, Stony Brook completed construction on a 60'x25' greenhouse at the Research and Development Park. The greenhouse is used to cultivate most of the annual plants used in the landscaping on Campus. By growing these annuals in our very own greenhouse, the Grounds department is able to recycle materials already in inventory, save energy and reduce the University's carbon footprint. The University has also seen a reduction in the costs associated with purchasing landscape plants from off campus nurseries. The plants grown in the greenhouse are used at all entrances to the University, as well as in flower beds and planters around buildings and some flower beds along interior roadways and bike paths. The majority of the plantings are done by University Grounds employees, although they receive assistance from student, faculty and staff volunteers during the annual Spring Pride Patrol.

  • Low Flow/Waterless Urinals

    Low Flow/Waterless Urinals

    There are two water conservation efforts underway at Endeavor Hall. One is a water free urinal; which uses a special cartridge to allow urine to pass through with no water usage but still provides the necessary trap action of a regular drain. These units require only minor custodial maintenance in between cartridge changes. The second is a more traditional unit with a twist; it only uses 0.125 gallon per flush, instead of a full gallon, like a standard urinal would. Due to the shape of the fixture, it can be cleared with only one pint of water. This is a reduction of over 80%.

  • Materials Recycling Handling Area

    Materials Recycling Handling Area

    Inside this 2.5 acre facility is an area that the University uses to recycle/handle resources in a cost effective manner. Soil from campus excavation sites is brought to this location and stored by type of soil. This soil is then reused for projects thoughout the campus. Other projects that we perform here are asphalt,brick, and concrete crushing into stone pak, as well as chipping woody debris into a high quality mulch product. There is also a "Reuse" area where the Department of Recycling and Resource Management stages materials to be reused at a later date (i.e. Move-Outs/FreeCycle), carpet recycling, ceiling tile recycling, etc. We also recycle in excess of 150 tons of scrap metal a year from this location.

  • Recycling at SBU

    Recycling at Stony Brook University

    Recycling LogoAt Stony Brook University, you can assist in the recycling effort by recycling paper, bottles and cans, plastic, clothes, office supplies, athletic shoes, appliances, ink jet cartridges and cell phones. Paper is the most common material to recycle. Computer paper, copy paper, paper bags, cardboard, envelopes, fax paper, greeting cards, index cards, magazines, newspaper, notebook pages, posters, pamphlets and even pizza boxes are all recyclable on campus. Paper fasteners do not need to be removed before recycling (though we do suggest you save those paper clips, binder clips, comb bindings, etc. and reuse them!) For bottles and cans, all types of glass (green, brown, clear, etc.) can be recycled as well as all types of metal cans. Some plastics can also be recycled; namely #1 PET plastic bottles and #2 HDPE plastic bottles. These days, almost all beverage containers are made with#1 or #2 plastic... If in doubt, put it in a recycling bin! Although it's not absolutely necessary, whenever possible cans and plastics should be rinsed and flattened before being placed in a recycling container. Recycling at SBU is very convenient. There are all types of recycling bins located throughout the campus. There are over 60 recycled recyclers located in common areas in all buildings. A recycled recycler is a three bin container that is used to recycle paper, and bottles and cans, and trash. These bins are made from 100% recycled content. All residence hall rooms, apartments and campus administrative and academic areas are equipped with appropriate bins for recycling. To request bins for your area, please call 2-9297. Outdoors on campus there are many recycling clusters. These sturdy receptacles are painted green for trash and bright blue for bottles and cans. Clothing can be recycled by placing items into the red clothing recycling bins. These bins are located outside every residence hall quad. Old athletic, rubber soled shoes/sneakers can be recycled. There are bins for these in the Student Activities Center Lobby and in the Wellness Center, located on the third floor of the SAC. Old cell phones and ink jet cartridges can be recycled by placing them in a sealed envelope and sending them via intra-campus mail to Recycling, Zip: 6551. Each of us can make a difference in reducing our ecological footprint. For more information on how you can help, please call the Recycling Hotline: 2-1514 or visit us on the web.

  • Solar Lighting Initiative

    Solar Lighting Initiative

    In addition to saving energy and eliminating greenhouse gases sometimes solar power can provide solutions where utility infrastructure is not readily available. A solar powered bus shelter lighting system was installed on the shelter located at the SAC. This option permitted us to install lighting quickly and without the added expense of actually breaking ground and connecting to the nearest source of electricity. The unit operates completely off grid and can even operate for approximately 5 days without being recharged. Similarly, there are some solar powered speed indicator signs around the Campus that were installed, saving the expense of a utility connection.