Did You Know?

USF Helps You Recycle Electronics

In April the last six years, USF hosted electronic recycling events for the community. The effort has kept over 50,000 pounds of electronics out of landfills. Electronics contain hazardous chromium, cadmium, mercury, beryllium and brominated flame retardants. Old computer monitors contain an average of four pounds of lead! Millions of pounds of steel, glass, plastic and precious metals can be recovered by recycling electronics. This conserves natural resources and avoids air and water pollution from mining and manufacturing new materials.

Contact Trina Herber at 260.399.7700, ext. 8134 for more information.

USF Rain Garden

USF’s rain garden, planted in fall 2009 by students, facutly and staff in conjunction with the City of Fort Wayne and Heartland Restoration, filters storm water from two large parking lots before delivering it to Mirror Lake. Construct a rain garden of your own by attending a City workshop.


Recycling centers throughout campus buildings are used for:

  • plastic bottles, various types of paper, and cardboard
  • collecting aluminum cans to be recycled with proceeds to Habitat for Humanity
  • collecting can tabs for Ronald McDonald House
  • ink cartridges and toners recycled with proceeds to HEADS UP Foundation
  • used fluorescent lamps
  • used batteries
  • other recycled or reused materials include construction/building products, scrap metal, unusable appliances, used automotive fluids, used tires, cooking oil/grease, electronics, yard waste, usable appliances, clothing, furniture/equipment, medicine bottles, church items, school items, new/used coats and blankets, surplus food, refrigerant, office supplies, bicycles, hearing aids, eyeglasses and wood from fallen or dying campus trees

Community partners including Lions Club, Matthew 25, Saint Vincent DePaul Society, Rescue Mission, St. Mary’s Soup Kitchen, the Fort Wayne-South Bend Catholic Diocese and WorkForce (RecycleForce) benefit from item reuse.

We Reduce and Reuse

USF has strived to maintain a status of conditionally exempt small quantity generator status. Hazardous or special waste streams are minimal because materials are often re-used indefinitely. For example, pickling liquid for jewelry making, solder for welding and metal sculpture, and clay in ceramics are re-used. The photography lab includes a unit that recovers silver from photo fixer. The silver is sent for recycling and the fixer is reused in the photo developing process. Chemicals needed for special purposes like science labs are purchased in small quantities.

Also, USF employs staff certified in Refrigerant Transition and Recovery. These employees recover refrigerant from old centrifuges or window air conditioners and save it until needed for other equipment on campus.

USF salvages discarded campus furniture, doors, shelving, etc. for use in art projects or for schools and churches in Honduras. Wood from trees on campus recovered after storms or cut down because of age is utilized in woodworking projects, boards, frames and furniture or used in the wood-fired ceramics kiln.