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Administration - Sustainability at Lehman College

Recycling and Composting at Lehman College: Executive Order 4

Large NYC/NYS entities are in a position to recycle larger and more varied source-separated recycling streams than that are residential settings. Large NYC/NYS entities generate large quantities of goods and materials that can be either reused whole or as parts/components, or broken down for recycling. Such streams (which go beyond mixed paper and metal/glass/plastic containers) are good candidates for reuse and recycling.

The different types of materials recycled at Lehman College are described in the table below. Some of the materials are recycled through the NYC Department of Sanitation, whose recycling program continues to evolve to include new recycling streams. Lehman College also uses contractors to dispose of certain recycling streams for which no public option exists (yet).

The City University of New York prepares an annual report (compiling data from all CUNY Colleges) to New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (Executive Order No. 4) that quantifies recycling and sustainability activities of CUNY as a whole. The quantities of each recycling/composting stream at Lehman College is given in the table below:

Waste/recycling category Unit weight Number of units generated in one year (4/1/17 – 3/31/18) Total weight
NYC DOS trash (not recycled) 9 tons per 30 cubic yard container 1 pickup every 10 days (average) = 36.5 328.5 tons
Mixed Paper recycling

4 x 8 yd3/pickup = 32 yd3

193 lbs/cubic yard
1 pickup per week = 52 per year 160.6 tons
Shredding events of white paper Weighed directly by contractor 2 shredding events 5.37 tons
Mixed glass, plastic and metal container recycling 0.885 tons per 20 cubic yard container 12 containers/year 10.62 tons
Un-compacted construction debris 8 tons per 30 cubic yard container, 2.67 tons per 10 cubic yard container

(15 x 30 yards) plus

(3 x 10 yards)
128 tons
Metals recycled through a scrap metal dealer Weighed directly by recycler N/A 40.743 tons (!)
Composted Food-prep waste: composted in the Rocket and 5 composting bins (180 gallons capacity each). 75 lbs/day (avg), plus 1000 lbs annually from LC personnel. 207 days during the reporting period (cafeteria kitchen procedures changed February 2018) 8.26 tons
Weekly food-scrap collection and composting (NYC Compost Project) 30 lbs/week (avg) 52 weeks/year 0.78 tons
Pumpkins from annual Pumpkin Smash (= food scraps for composting) Pumpkins consumed during event weighed directly by NYC Compost Personnel 231 pumpkins composted, avg  16 lbs each 1.84 tons
Gardening waste: leaves: composted in either the main compost pile or used as the carbon/”browns” component of food-scrap composting. Fall leaf cleanup: 10 weeks of picking up leaves, 3-4x per week, using the leaf truck (10.33 yds3), filled up 2-3x per day; 83.3 lbs/yd3

904 yd3

Note: leaves are mulched by the shredding action of the leaf collector (= higher unit weight)
37.65 tons

Gardening waste: lawn clippings: growing season (May – October, 22 weeks):
Normal rain: mowed 1x per week

Dry season: mowed every two weeks

May, June, July: 13 weekly mowings;
Aug, Sept: 5 biweekly mowings
5 cubic yards lawn clippings per mowing

(280 lbs/ yd3)

90 yd3

Note: lawn clippings are either composted or mulched onto existing lawns
12.6 tons (weight of freshly-generated lawn clippings; weight rapidly decreases with time)
Gardening waste: wood chips/tree branches (generated by tree contractor) Wood chips 625 lbs/ yd3 5 yd3 1.56 tons
Used cooking oil for recycling for biodiesel 7.45 lbs/gallon 30 gallons/month; 16.7% taken up by food, 83.3% recycled 1.117 tons
Recycled Car and truck tires

Truck tires: 80 lbs each;

Car tires: 20 lbs each
31 truck 1.24 tons
Used motor oil for recycling 6.68 lbs/gallon 390 gallons 1.3 tons
Obsolete electronics for reuse 800 lbs/pallet 74 pallets 29.6 tons (!)

Recycling Links

Lehman College Executive Order 4 Report 2017-2018 on Lehman Connect