In keeping with the spirit of Villanovans igniting change, Villanova University Recycling began with a small spark of change that has ignited into a robust program, fueled by the entire campus community’s energy. While the program has grown from its humble beginnings in 1990 this change has been a gradual burn. At its inception, the program recycled three different materials with a recycling rate of under 10 percent. Today the program recycles more than 20 different materials at a recycling rate of nearly 30 percent. Villanovans now recycle four times the amount of material than they did when the program started.
In 1990, the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania passed the law PA Act 101, which mandated that institutions like the University must recycle. Initially, the program recycled white office paper, corrugated cardboard and aluminum cans. In the past 23 years many initiatives have helped to establish and grow the recycling program.
In 1995, Villanova recognized that successful expansion of the recycling program would require guided vision and branding to promote itself the campus community. In support of this initiative, a full time Recycling Coordinator was hired and a recycling logo was created.
As community awareness about recycling has grown over the years, so has the program’s momentum. Each new product that was added to the recycling stream served as a milestone for the program’s evolution. Villanova now recycles glass, plastics, mixed paper, yard waste, food waste, electronic waste, construction waste and automotive waste. Mixed paper has become the most important product as it makes up more than 50 percent of all recycled materials.
As Villanova University Recycling looks ahead to the future and establishes new goals, we will always recognize our humble beginnings, learning from the successes of the past two decades and harnessing the positive energy that burns throughout the Villanova community which were initiated by that first small spark of change.