Siloam Springs– John Brown University is officially a zero-landfill institution, meaning waste from the Siloam Springs campus is primarily recycled or converted to power through emissions-free incineration. JBU is the first higher educational institution in Arkansas to have a completely zero-landfill campus.
“We believe in being good stewards of the resources God has provided us,” said Dr. Steve Beers, vice president of student development, who oversees JBU’s facilities services. “Having a zero-landfill campus makes economic sense and reduces the university’s impact on the environment.”
Recyclable materials – plastic, paper, metal and more representing about 50% of JBU’s trash – are sorted and sent to local recyclers; waste that cannot be recycled is compacted and sent to Tulsa to be converted into energy (via emissions-free incineration) and in the case of food waste, sent to hog farms. The university provides recycling bins for individual offices, classrooms, residence halls and common rooms.
“John Brown University could not have a zero-landfill campus without the support and partnership of our local community,” said Steve Brankle, director of facilities services and sustainability. “Partnering with local waste management authorities and recycling services allow us to salvage reusable materials without increasing the cost to the university.”
JBU has partnered with local waste management companies and local businesses to recycle everything possible and convert the rest to energy.
Aside from be eco-friendly the removal of dumpsters during move-out days on campus saves the university $30,000 annually. Instead of students filling up dumpsters, the Salvation Army workers come and take away items that can often be reused.
The zero-landfill goal is a part of the university’s multi-step program towards environmental sustainability, seeking to conserve energy, reuse materials and reduce waste for the entire institution.
For more information on the college’s sustainability efforts, visit JBU online.