Programs and Efforts

Computerized Store Inventory

Supports the "Just in Time" policy which saves on warehouse space and costs.

Email Package Notification

Students are notified through email about package delivery eliminating paper notification.

Inventory Barcodes

Supports paperless transactions in materials stores.

Merge, Purge & Process Mailing Database

Uses CASS certification software to qualify addresses for University mass mailings. This matches the University database up against the official Post Office list of valid addresses. If there is no match, the item does not get mailed. This reduces the amount of mail that isn't delivered or is thrown away.

Server Backup

Aggressive data backup program that eliminates the need to print hard copies.


The arboretum provides horticultural learning opportunities for the community and promotes education and diverse planting choices.

Earth Day Tree Planting

The proceeds from ink jet recycling are used annually to finance tree plantings on Earth Day.

Planting a Tree on Earth Day
Use of Native Plant Material

Native plants are used in landscaping for education and pest resistance opportunities.

Use of Salt Treatment

The EPA recently recognized SEACO’s “Ice B’Gone” salt treatment product with it's distinguished DfE ( Design for Environment) Award. The University is using this product for roadde-icing. SEACO uses only organic, agriculture-based ingredients which are thenblended with chloride salts and applied to ice and snow-covered roadways. Thesepatented de-icing products are considered environmentally gentle because theyare biodegradable and contribute to a 30% reduction in salt use as well as a 70%reduction in corrosion to bridges, roadway surfaces, equipment and vehicles. Theblended product works much longer and in significantly lower temperatures thanuntreated salt, resulting in reduced salt use.

EPA recognized 'salt' in the U of R salt barn
Integrated Pest Management Practices

The Integrated Pest Management Program at the University of Rochester manages the University’s horticulture environment. IPM pest management considers what is economically practical, socially and esthetically acceptable, as well as environmentally responsible. The results are a Campus with high quality plantings with fewer pesticide applications. Judicious cultural and fertilizer practices are other reasons for the excellent horticulture results. No prophylactic pesticides are used promoting beneficial insects and mites in tree canopies. In addition, regular overseeding promotes healthier turf resulting in the reduced demand for herbicides.

Energy Competition

Dorm residents compete to reduce their energy and water usage in events such as UR Unplugged and Sustain-a-bowl.

Energy Mountain

Energy mountain is a diagram that lists activities that a person can do in the office and around the UR, and for each activity it states a dollar amount in energy savings. As you climb the mountain of activities, the activity takes more effort but the energy savings is greater.

Lighting Retrofit

T-12 lights and magnetic ballasts were replaced with T-8 lights, HID lights and electronic ballasts, or LED lighting which are more efficient and save energy.

NYS Energy Research & Development

University of Rochester participates in the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority program which financially supports the use of innovation and technology.

Occupancy Sensors

Sensors turn the lights on when they sense someone coming into a room or area, and then turn the lights off some time after sensing the room is empty.

On Off Scheduling

Reduce energy use through on-off scheduling of building systems and outside lights using automated building controls.

Tier 1 Greenhouse Gas Inventory

126,508 metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalents for CY 2012.

Water Saver
Bathroom Fixtures and Low Flow Toilets

Water saving taps and shower heads installed throughout the University.

They can be found in dorms and office buildings and conserve water with a 1.6 gallon flush.

Asbestos Program

This is a mandated program to ensure all asbestos abatement and handling is conducted in accordance with NYSDOL, OSHA, and EPA requirements.

Hazardous Waste
Management Program

Our program complies with federal and state hazardous waste regulations to ensure hazardous waste is properly handled from cradle to grave.

Lead Paint Management

This program identifies and properly manages lead-based paint in accordance to applicable regulations. It is also run by the Asbestos Control Group.

Medical Waste Reduction

Non-regulated waste is separated at the source from regulated medical waste collection containers in order to conserve resources needed to treat regulated waste. This improves the University of Rochester's capacity to treated regulated waste and saves money.

medical waste
Tank Compliance Inspection

Each tank is inspected regularly by legal mandate. This ensures tanks are in good condition which reduces the chance of oil spills that could contaminate surface and ground water.

LEED Guidelines

Leadership Energy and Environmental Design standards are considered for developing high-performance, sustainable buildings.New building design incorporate the LEED standards of minimizing light pollution at night, controlling storm runoff, using renewable materials, and improving air quality. The University of Rochester aspires to design and construct each new building to be eligible to achieve LEED Silver certification. Three buildings are officially certified, O'Brien Hall and the Saunder Research Building achieved LEED Gold Certification and Genesee Hall achieved LEED Silver Certification.

O’Brien Hall

University of Rochester O’Brien Hall

Development Density and Community Connectivity

Bulidings are located on a previously developed site and are within ½ mile of neighborhoods and basic services. This encourages a sense of community and channels development to urban areas with existing infrastructure, protects greenfields, and preserves habitat and natural resources.

Heat Island Effect

Buildings minimize impacts on microclimates, and human and wildlife habitats by reducing “Heat island” effect. White roofs, with high reflectivity and emissivity, and vegetative roofs help to cool buildings and the surrounding area.

Alternative Transportation

This building provides indoor and outdoor bicycle storage to promote the use of bicycles by residents and staff. This helps to reduce pollution and land development impacts from automobile use.

Controllability of Systems

Light and temperature levels are adjustable in order to provide a high level of lighting control by individual occupants, or groups in multi-occupant spaces. This promotes occupant productivity, comfort, and well-being.

Construction Waste Management

Non-hazardous demolition and construction material debris are diverted from disposal landfills and incinerators. Recyclable and recovered debris are reduced back into the manufacturing process.

Enhanced Refrigerant Management

All heating, ventilation, air conditioning (HVAC), and refrigerant management systems use chlorofluorocarbon (CFC) free refrigerants. This reducing the impact of the building on the atmosphere’s ozone layer.

Regional Materials

Building materials and products used in construction are often manufactured within 500 miles of the site. This reduces the amount of energy required to transport the materials and products to the job site.

Low Emitting Materials

To improve air quality, low VOC (volatile organic compounds) materials are used in adhesives, paints, and sealants installed in the building.

Recycled Content

Building materials and products are often from recycled sources including: carpet, ceiling tiles and grids, and gypsum drywall paper. This reduces impacts resulting from the extraction and processing of virgin materials.

Water Use Reduction

Low-flow sinks and showers installed in the building are being used to reduce the amount of water used by as much as 45%. This helps to increase water efficiency and reduces the burden on municipal water supply and wastewater systems. The buildings surroundings are inhabited with native vegetation that thrive with no irrigation.

Daylight and Views – Views

The use of large windows allows the occupants to maintain a connection to the surrounding environment and reduces the need for electrical lighting. This results in decreased energy use and contributes to the well-being of occupants.

O'Brien Hall Courtyard

O'Brien Hall Courtyard

CFC Free Plant

A plan to keep the plant chlorofluorocarbon free included purchasing items that do not contain or use CFCs and are therefore “ozone safe”. Another part of this plan is that a chiller was switched to a non-ozone depleting refrigerant and 12,000 pounds of CFCs (R-12) were retired.

Chilled Water Optimization

Focuses on optimum utilization of equipment that uses chilled water, and controlling chill water supply and return temperatures.

Hot Water

Provides an energy savings by converting from steam heat to hot water heat, which utilizes the hot water by-product of Co-Gen.

Low Knox Burners

Prior to 1998, heating and cooling the University required the emission of up to 335 tons per year of NOx (Oxides of Nitrogen). Then the University switched from coal to natural gas and the Central Plant team installed burners that would meet anticipated future emissions standards. This lowered the University's annual NOx emissions to 74 tons per year.


The University of Rochester’s cogeneration plant, built and commissioned in 2006, is defined as a combined heat and power (CHP) that integrates the production of usable heat and power (electricity), in one single, highly efficient process. The University uses steam produced in its boilers to drive steam turbine generators. The steam that is delivered to the steam turbine drives an electric generator to produce 60 hertz, A.C. electric power. The steam exhausted from the turbine is then used to heat a hot water heating loop that delivers approximately 200 degree hot water to campus buildings and the medical center for space heating and domestic hot water heating. This is an extremely efficient system.

Combined heat and power plans are significantly more efficient than a traditional utility power plant which generate electricity but reject the steam turbine exhaust to atmosphere, doing no useful work. With conventional power plants vast amounts of heat are simply wasted. In today’s coal and gas fired power stations, up to two thirds of the overall energy consumed is lost in this way. Combined heat and power plants can approach 75 to 80% thermal efficiency.

The University’s cogeneration plant has provided approximately 1/3 of the campus electric power needs annually, with over 50 million kilowatts produced in fiscal year 2014. The plant has two steam turbine generators, with nameplate ratings of 7 megawatts and 18 megawatts. Both steam turbine generators use steam generated in the central utility plant’s steam boilers, which burn natural gas.

Steam at either 900 psig or 165 psig is used depending on which steam turbine is in service. The hot water delivered to campus is pumped from the central plant to plate and frame heat exchangers located in each campus building. Supply hot water temperatures vary from 160 degrees F to 225 degrees F depending on outdoor temperatures. The cogen system can produce 180 million BTU per hour of hot water energy, and is backed up by three shell and tube, steam to hot heat exchangers for added reliability. The heating hot water pumps at the central plant utilize variable speed motor drives to pump just enough water using the lowest amount of electrical power.

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Low Sulfur Fuel

The Central Utilities plant uses a low sulfur fuel oil (0.05%) which helps alleviate unpleasant odors as well as significantly cut sulfur dioxide emissions. Since converting to natural gas and low sulfur oil, annual emissions of sulfur dioxide has dropped from 1,600 tons per year to 1.25 tons per year for 2005.

Real Time Metering

Records the energy usage for electricity, chilled water, city water, steam and hot water as it is being used.

Chemical Substitution

Involves the use of less toxic chemicals whenever possible. University labs used to generate over 7,000 lbs. per year of chromate-based labware cleaner. Now chromate-free cleaners and xylene substitutes such as Propar are used. Also water-based paints (rather than solvent-based) are used when possible.

Green Cleaning Supplies

A green housekeeping policy specifies the use of non-toxic, environmentally responsible cleaning reagents.

Integrated Material Supplier

Provides improved pricing and services for various goods, and has streamlined procedures to produce less paper.

Envelope Storage

Departments can call mail services for used but serviceable envelopes instead of ordering new.

Lighting Bulbs

Low mercury fluorescent bulbs are generally used. All fluorescent lamps are collected for recycling of mercury, glass, phosphor, and aluminum ends. Over 5 tons were recycled in 2005.

Mercury-Free Hospital

An award-winning program at Strong Memorial Hospital where all unessential mercury use was discontinued. This included mercury blood pressure cuffs, thermometers, feeding tubes, and histopatholgy stains containing mercury.

Microfiber Mops

Mops that use 35 gallons of water less per day when compared to their conventional counterpart.

Purchasing Strategy

A part of source reduction which includes buying items that do not generate waste in the first place, buying less to prevent waste, and buying from recycled sources to promote recycling.


The Medical Center treats their regulated medical waste using an autoclave. Rather than incinerating it, an autoclave uses steam, pressure and time to kill pathogens before the waste is ground up and disposed of.

Battery Drop-Off Recycling

Many batteries (excluding alkaline) contain regulated levels of cadmium, lead, mercury, silver or other hazardous materials. These are collected for recycling.

Carpet Reclamation Program

Carpet reclamation recovers nylon from broadloom carpet and uses it to make new engineered resins.

CFC Reclamation

This is a federally mandated program intended to protect to ozone layer. Those who work on CFC/HCFC containing equipment must be certified and follow proper protocols for ensuring ozone depleting compounds are collected and managed in accordance to EPA regulations.

Computer and
Electronics Recycling

A proactive approach to the management of computer solid wastes. The University of Rochester partners with an electronics recycling vendor to dispose of unwanted electronic equipment.

E Cycle Day

E Cycle Day is the annual electronics collection and recycling event hosted by University Facilities and Services. Old, broken, and unwanted electronic equipment such as cell phones, computers, chargers, and other items are collected and recycled safely. Over 25,000 lbs. of electronic equipment is sent for recycling annually.

Medical Center Single-Use Item Pre-Processing

This is a hospital program that entails third party reprocessing and certification of single-use items that would otherwise be thrown away. This saves resources and money.

Move-Out Cleanout

This program provides convenient ways for students to donate and recycle clothing, shoes, food, and electronics at the end of the academic year. Donation sites are placed at dormitories and other central locations. Donated items are sent to local charities.

Pallet Recycling

Damaged pallets are ground up for landscape mulch and usable pallets are redistributed.

Sustainability and Recycling Coordinator

Amy Kadrie is the University of Rochester’s Sustainability and Recycling Coordinator. Amy has a B.S. in Environmental Science from Syracuse University. Prior to joining the University of Rochester, she was a compliance officer/environmental specialist with the North Carolina Dept. of Environment and Natural Resources. Amy may be contacted by cell at 585.362.5739 or by email at

Recycle Undeliverable
Bulk Mail

All undeliverable third class mail addressed to former students or employees is recycled.


The University participates in Recyclemania, an annual competition between hundreds of colleges and universities across North America. RecycleMania lasts a period of ten weeks, and evaluates different categories of waste minimization and recycling such as paper, corrugated cardboard, per capita waste, and overall best recycling rate.

Recycle Wood to Mulch

Grounds department uses pruning debris and pallets ground into mulch for use in naturalistic landscape settings.

Shred Fest

The Shred Fest is the annual personal document secure shredding event hosted by University Facilities and Services. Open to University students, staff, and faculty, participants are invited to drop off unwanted personal documents from home such as files, folders, notebooks, and bills, to be shredded and recycled.

Solvent Redistillation

Selected solvent waste streams are distilled to a grade that enables them to be used for their intended purpose rather than be thrown away. Xylene, acetone and ethanol are redistilled as are some of the xylene substitutes.

Recycling of Inkjet Cartridges

Used inkjet and toner cartridges can be mailed to University Mail Services for recycling. Place your used cartridge in its original or replacement package and mail to University Mail Services, PO Box 270001. For every laser cartridge returned 1/2 gallon of oil is conserved.


A healthy commuting alternative that benefits the rider and the community by reducing pollution and traffic congestion. Although the weather in Rochester tends to limit the use of bicycles in inclement weather, we do provide bicycle racks throughout the University to accommodate this need.

Car Pools

If you do have to drive your car to work we offer a car pooling option that provides reduced parking rates for car pool participants. If people participate in a 4 person car pool there is no charge for parking. Two and three person car pools receive a discount compared to the regular parking rates.


A compact size utility vehicle used by Grounds to maneuver and go places where a pickup would not be well suited. Provides energy savings and reduces the dependence on oil for fuel.

The Gator - - 1386833
Extensive Bus System

The University provides five University Staff Shuttles that are operated by First Transit. (CVRI, Scottsville Rd, RPC, Corporate Woods, and an evening staff shuttle). We also have a Greece Park n’ Ride which is operated by RTS and connects with Strong Memorial Hospital and Highland Hospital. Our Student Shuttles consist of 6 lines (red, blue, green, purple, silver and gold) and are also operated by First Transit. All our bus services (staff and student) are provided free of charge by showing a University ID.

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Hybrid Vehicles

The University recently purchased two Ford Escape Hybrid vehicles for use by security patrol and supervisors. Compared to the traditional gasoline engine Escape, the hybrids get 14 miles more per gallon in city driving and the technology helps emit 81% less smog-forming emissions.

Vehicle and Equipment Purchases

The University of Rochester requires the fleet manager to purchase, lease, or otherwise obtain the most energy efficient assets that meet the operational needs with its budgetary constraints including electric, hybrid or alternative fuel vehicle or equipment.

GEM Cars

The GEM electric vehicle is a multipurpose neighborhood electric vehicle used by University Facilities and Services for day-to-day operations.

ZIP Cars

The University now provides a car sharing service know as Zipcar that makes cars available for all UR community members. Zipcars utilize a "Zipcard" to give users self-service access to unlock the car, enable the engine and record the time and mileage use.


New York State Environmental Conservation Law (ECL) prohibits heavy duty vehicles, including diesel trucks and buses, from idling for more than five minutes at a time. The University requires all University vehicle operators follow the same policy.

Safe and Separate Storage
for Hazardous Waste

On-site building separate from campus activities that houses and monitors waste inside a controlled environment. Prevents accidents and release of chemicals to the environment.

Solid Waste Tracking

Solid waste shipped to our hauler from each location (recycling as well as disposable waste) is tracked. Knowing how much waste we generate and where allows us to make good decisions regarding the types and number of collection containers needed, to schedule pickups efficiently and trend our waste generation activities.

Solid Waste Recycling

Categories include paper, cardboard, bottles, cans. Each area manager and their staff in conjunction with our waste hauler manage this process for their areas. We receive estimates of how much of each type is recycled from our hauler.

Solid waste in plastic barrels
University Waste Minimization Steering Committee

This is a group that meets periodically to discuss waste-related issues. Members include Medical Center and River Campus Facilities and Services staff, Purchasing, Dining Services, Environmental Health and Safety. All are welcome.