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Sustainability: Grounds Department

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Sustainability: Grounds Department

The grounds team is committed to the upkeep of the campus grounds in a sustainable fashion. This includes lawn care, landscape design and maintenance, irrigation, recycling, equipment maintenance, and construction site work.During the winter months, the grounds team is additionally responsible for snow removal. Snow removal includes plowing, salting, and shoveling 6 miles of roadways, 14 miles of walks, 30 acres of parking lots, and over 300 steps.

The Recycling Program


The recycling program at Calvin College began in the early 1980's. All recycling is administered by the Grounds Department at an on-site recycling center. In addition to traditionally recycled items such as paper, glass, metal and plastic, resident students and staff can recycle a variety of other materials including styrofoam and electronic equipment. In 2007, the recycling totals were:

  • 12,275 Fluorescent Bulbs
  • 3,134 lbs. of Ballasts
  • 1,425 lbs. of Batteries
  • 19,643 lbs. of Electronics
  • 210 lbs. of Polystyrene
  • 14 lbs. of Mercury Devices
  • 67,260 lbs. of Scrap Iron
  • 480 cubic yds. of Glass/Metal/Plastics
  • 90,780 lbs. of Cardboard
  • 152,340 lbs. of Paper
  • 100 cubic yds lbs. of Paperboard

According to industry standards, Calvin's paper and cardboard recycling alone saved:

  • 2,408 Trees
  • 991,708 gallons of Water
  • 468 cubic yds. of Landfill Space
  • 11,192 gallons of Oil
  • And more than 8,500 pounds of air pollution effluents from entering the air

The Composting Program

Organic material generated by Grounds department activity is composted on campus. Composted materials can be used for:

  • Tilling into existing soils for planting mixes
  • Topdressing
  • Soil amendments
  • Alternative ground covering for forest mitigation sites or for nature preserve pathway

bike rackBike Rack Program

The bike rack program has been implemented to promote the use of bicycling as a means of transportation in an effort to promote physical health and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.