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Our mission is to serve in an advisory capacity to all campus departments, colleges and other entities in an effort to advance environmental and economic sustainability at the University of Wyoming.

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Campus Sustainability Committee
Laramie, WY 82071
CSC Committee
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The University of Wyoming is working hard to become more economically and environmentally sustainable. Each year we make progress toward that end. Here is a list of some of our accomplishments to date:

Energy efficiency

The University of Wyoming has taken steps toward reducing institutional greenhouse gas emissions, particularly within the following key areas: energy, facilities, grounds, water, transportation, purchasing and procurement, recycling and waste management, policy, and behavioral change.  The Physical Plant and Facilities Planning have increased energy efficiency across campus by installing new and more efficient windows, heat recovery systems, control valves, motors, and lighting in many of the buildings on campus.  Additional projects underway include steam trap upgrades, developing a metering program, installing misers on vending machines, and completing a campus-wide controls system upgrade.


Facilities Planning, TransPark and Transit Services aim to help reduce UW's emissions through expanded shuttle services, bike and pedestrian routes, and adding hybrid and other alternative fuel vehicles to the fleet.  The number of electric fleet vehicles has been expanded from three to eight, and a number of fleet vehicles can run on flex fuel.  Six efficient diesel buses were added to the fleet in mid-2011.

The University of Wyoming offers shuttle service on and around campus and the community to reduce the number of cars on the campus perimeter.  The campus shuttle system has been expanded to include express shuttles from a remote south lot and long-term east lot. Shuttle information is available from TransPark.

The University also has a bike loan program available - the Pokes' Spokes Bike Library.  In 2008, the Physical Plant installed new bike racks to accommodate almost 500 additional bikes, and the Bicycle/Pedestrian Safety Committee designated bike and pedestrian pathways with dismount zones and priority uses.

Major construction and renovation

The University of Wyoming now requires that all new construction and major renovations strive to meet the U.S. Green Building Council’s Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Silver standards. The College of Business is certified LEED Gold, the Kendall House is certified LEED Gold and the Fine Arts Building is certified LEED platinum.  ACRES Farm built a passive solar shed in 2011, using mostly reclaimed materials. UW routinely utilizes building materials from demolished buildings, passive solar design, low-flow water fixtures and low-emitting materials. Learn more about LEED certification from the U.S. Green Building Council.


From paper and cleaning products to food and food service containers, UW is working to purchase products with post-consumer recycled content and products that are compostable.  A contract is in place to purchase 100% recycled content paper products for restrooms in campus facilities, and most departments contract for 30% recycled content paper for office use.  Dining Services has worked to increase procurement of locally-grown foods when possible, finding many sources within 200 miles. 

Recycling and Waste Management

UW operates a recycling program and participates in the national RecycleMania competition each year. Recycling continues to increase through the use of additional pickup locations, cardboard-specific dumpsters, and increased pickup frequency. UW Recycling now as a drive-thru recycling drop off station on 15th Street and Gibbon Ave. Additionally, UW now has in place an Energy Star purchasing policy, and construction and renovation purchasing complement LEED standards. Office equipment and furniture is often reused on campus or recycled through local and regional channels. All pre-consumer, plant based food waste is composted at the student-run, on-campus farm, and many of the food vendors on campus utilize compostable food service containers.

The Campus Sustainability Committee has also helped to provide information on glass recycling options for Laramie.

RecycleMania 2014

The University of Wyoming once again placed well in the annual RecycleMania national recycling competition, earning a spot among the top 25 percent of schools participating at 58th place of 256 schools in the Grand Champion category which measures recycling percentage of total waste.  UW recycled 38.934% of the waste that it generated.
The contest measured the amount of trash and recycled materials collected at 460 colleges and universities nationwide to determine which participants had the highest recycling rate. Participating colleges and universities collected more than 89.1 million pounds of materials during the 8-week competition, preventing the release of nearly 126,597 metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent (MTCO2E) into the atmosphere. Learn more about RecycleMania and view the results at

UW performed well in several categories:
Schools competed to collect the largest combined amount of paper, cardboard, bottles and cans per person in the per-capita contest. UW was 135th among 362 schools, with a total of 11.571 pounds recycled per person. This was good for number one out of five Mountain West Conference participants, when UW edged out Colorado State University by recycling two pounds more per person.

“Thanks to everyone in the UW community who helped to keep the Mountain West title in the per-capita class,” says Jim Goodman, manager of UW Recycling.
In the waste minimization competition, schools competed to see who produced the least waste, including both trash and recyclables. UW produced only 29.72 pounds of waste per person, placing 45th among 155 schools participating. UW collected 7.105 pounds of paper per person for recycling, scoring 27th out of 213 schools in this category.
The total amount of recyclables collected was measured for each school, and the participating school with the largest total amount won the Gorilla Prize that recognizes schools with outstanding recycling facilities and habits. UW collected a total of 153,015 pounds of recyclables during the competition for 118th place among 365 schools.

Table of UW Results in Each Participating Category

UW’s totals

Overall rank

Out of

Mtn. West Conference rank

Out of


Grand Champion






Per Capita





11.571 pounds/FTE

Gorilla Prize





153,015 pounds

Waste Minimization





29.72 pounds/FTE






7.105 pounds/FTE






3.674 pounds/FTE

Bottles & Cans





0.792 pounds/FTE

Wyoming Sustainability Summit 2010

This statewide conference provided a forum for local leaders and interested citizens to learn about environmental, social, and economic sustainability. The Wyoming Sustainability Summit provided a venue for sharing information about challenges and successes with sustainability initiatives and how to successfully address these issues in residences, businesses, and communities.

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