Learn more about our efforts and how you can become a greener Ichabod

Washburn is committed to sustainability, conservation, and continuous improvement. Join us in our ongoing efforts in energy conservation and campus sustainability by creating a Green Team today.

Staff and Students are vital to improving environmentally responsible practices such as recycling, waste reduction and environmentally responsible purchasing in their own place of work or school.  The Washburn Sustainability webpage provides guidelines, ideas, information and tools to help you implement these practices.  

In addition to participating as a green team leader, Washburn students can become an Ecobod.   Learn more about becoming an Ecobod.

Facilities Services strives for campus sustainability

Facilities Services believes that campus sustainability is an integral part of social responsibility.  The benefits of a sustainability program are, and what we strive for is:

  1. To use key resources like energy, water, land, electricity, natural gas and materials much more efficiently. 
  2. To donate or recycle materials that are generated in operating activities. 
  3. To improve environmental stewardship by properly managing chemicals and hazardous waste.
  4. To create a healthier work, learning, and living environments that improves employee and student health, comfort, and productivity.
  5. To  reduce operation and maintenance costs, as well as lowering utility usage.

We are always seeking to improve our practices. 

We are committed to energy and resource conservation.  Energy conservation helps reduce the effects of global warming, acid rain and smoke, and protects our natural resources.  

Electrical systems:  Retrofit light fixtures and exit signs; install motion detectors; encourage staff to use more natural light if applicable; use high energy efficient motors; install capacitor to correct low power factor issue; perform energy audit and utility bill audit.

Water systems:  Install water flow restrictor on faucets and shower heads; install low water flow on urinal and flush valves and/or fixtures; install a drip system instead of lawn sprinkler system; plant more native plants and trees; use xeriscaping where possible.

HVAC system:  Continuously upgrade HVAC systems and boiler controls; take advantage of free cooling in the spring and fall; replace some single-pane glass on old windows; install sun-reflective film or venetian blinds on windows; replace broken pipe insulations; specify high energy efficient equipment for replacement and on new projects; Install more water heaters/boilers per building instead of converting steam (from the Heat Plant) to hot/heating water.

Roofing system:  Install more roof insulation under roofing material to reduce heat from the roof on any roofing replacement or new project.

It is our goal to implement green cleaning practices to minimize the cleaning effects on facility occupants and the environment, and to establish an effective program that helps improve indoor air quality.  

  • The use of Green Seal certified products and implementing Green Seal cleaning service standards whenever possible.
  • Providing staff training on the green cleaning process.
  • Installation of electric hand driers.
  • The use of high-performance entry matting systems, 12 to 15 feet at building entrances and other key locations inside and outside a building.
  • The use of high-filtration vacuum cleaners with HEPA filters and sealed casings and hose connections.
  • The use of carpet equipment and carpet cleaning methods, suggested by manufacturers to maintain a warranty.
  • Replacing old carpet extractors with new low-moisture carpet extractors, as equipment wears out.  New low-moisture carpet extractors use about 1 gallon of water per minute, allowing the carpet to dry in 30 minutes; whereas old extractor uses about 3-5 gallons per minute.

Integrated pest control management (IPM) is a process for achieving long-term, environmentally sound pest suppression and prevention through using a wide variety of technological and management practices.  Control strategies include:

  1. Structural and procedural modifications to reduce food, water, harborage, and access used by pests.
  2. Pesticide application presents the lowest potential hazard to humans and the environment.
  3. Non-pesticide technologies such as trapping and monitoring devices.

Recycling and Waste Reduction on Campus

Participation and support is the key to a successful recycling program. We appreciate and wish to thank all Washburn faculty, staff, students and administrators for your continued help and support of our recycling program.

Recycling is collected by the custodial staff.  If you have any large quantities of recyclable material please contact your building custodian or Deb Youngs at (785) 670-3132 to schedule a pick up. 

Washburn University collects Single Stream recycling!  (All ACCEPTED materials in one bin.) 

The items that Shawnee County residential curbside recycling collect are the same items that may be deposited into the Washburn University "single stream" recycling.

  • All mixed paper products.
  • Plastics #1, 2, 5 EMPTIED and fairly clean prior to depositing - Leave the lids on.
    • Pop bottles, drink cups, food containers, etc.
  • Aluminum and tin cans  - EMPTIED of food and liquids!
  • Cardboard and chipboard boxes.  Please BREAK DOWN boxes prior to placing them next to the recycling container.

WE DO NOT COLLECT -  Pizza boxes or cardboard contaminated with food - Coated paper milk cartons - Styrofoam - Glass - Paper coffee cups and their lids. Click here for a detailed list of recyclable-vs-trash items.

For the following items please contact the departments specified.

  • Plastic bags
    • Drop off with the Biology lab supervisor in Stoffer Science Hall.
  • Electronics
    • Dispose through the IT Department.
  • Hard-backed books
    • The University does not have a recycling option at this time however pages may be removed from books or the binding sawed off, and then the paper stock may be deposited into the University "single stream" recycling.
  • Alkaline batteries
    • We do not recycle alkaline batteries unless they are REALLY OLD and are labeled "contains mercury".  Residents may choose to recycle alkaline batteries at the County HHW facility (call first).
  • Rechargeable batteries 
    • Please contact the Facilities Services Sustainability Coordinator (785) 670-1132 for specifics.
  • Furniture and Office equipment
    • Dispose through the Washburn Surplus Department and later donated to Habitat ReStore.  For these items please coordinate disposal with the Purchasing Inventory Manager at (785) 670-2313 and then submit a Facilities Services work request that includes your foapal.  This does requires a chargeable work order.
  • Toner cartridges
    • Return to manufacturer.
      • With return labels;
        • Some manufacturers such as Hewlett Packard supply return labels with new cartridges, other manufacturers such as OKI require you to fill out return labels from their website.
        • Seal box and affix return label according to directions on the toner cartridge box or manufacturers website, then either hand deliver or send box through campus mail to UMAPS.
      • Without return labels;
        • Collected by the IT Department (Bennett Computer Center room 104).

In addition to the above items, Facilities Services also recycles the following materials generated on campus as part of normal operations:

  • Scrap Metal
  • Fluorescent Lamps
  • Anti-Freeze
  • Motor oil
  • Tires
  • Paint
  • Wood pallets

Sustainable Transportation

Interested in Carpooling? This is a great option for sustainabiity.  We do not have a program at this time but encourage you to ride share!

Topeka Metro Transit offers free rides to students, faculty and staff with a Washburn ID.  There are bus routes that stop at the edge of campus on both 17th and 21st Street.  Route information may be found on the Topeka Metro homepage or let Topeka Metro help plan your bus ride along their fixed routes using their Trip Planner.

Topeka Metro Transit in collaboration with Washburn University is offering students, faculty and staff rides for free with Washburn ID.

The Topeka Metro buses are free to ride for anyone with a valid Washburn ID. There are bus routes that stop at the edge of campus on both 17th Street and 21st Street.

Route information may be found on the Topeka Metro homepage, or let Topeka Metro help plan your bus ride along their fixed routes using their Trip Planner.

Questions & Comments

Contact Kristine Hicks, Facilities Services Energy/Sustainability Manager 785.670.1132.

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