Swarthmore actively reduces waste through our recycling, composting, and reuse programs. In 2010 Swarthmore diverted approximately 27% of our waste stream from the landfill. Diverting waste helps to reduce pollution and the depletion of natural materials.
- At the end of the spring semester, Swarthmore students donate reusable goods to the Trash to Treasure sale. Student volunteers collect, sort, and label the items before they are offered for sale to the general community. All proceeds are donated to charity, last year more than $26,000 was raised in support of the United Way of Southeast Delaware County.
- Swarthmore's single stream recycling program accepts aluminum, glass bottles, Plastics #1-2,4-5,7, mixed paper, and cardboard.
- Batteries and ink cartridges are accepted for recycling near the mailboxes at Parrish Hall.
- The on-campus composting program collects preconsumer food waste from Sharples Dining Hall and vegetarian food waste from Essie Mae's several dorms. Yard waste from the arboretum is composted along with food waste. The finished product is used as fertilizer in the campus landscape. In 2010, 180 tons of organic yard and food waste were composted.
- Through the Swarthmore Bookstore Buyback Program, Swarthmore students can sell back their textbooks at the end of each semester. Textbook rental can also be an economical and environmentally friendly way of using books for a semester.