In July 2006, the Environmental Health Section of the Department of Medicine at Baylor College of Medicine and a group of medical students launched a pilot paper and aluminum recycling program.
Initial funding ($1,250) for signage and recycling bins came from a Community Building Grant from United Way of Greater Houston. Although recycling efforts were initially entirely volunteer-based, with BCM-EHS and students emptying the bins and using their personal cars to deliver the cans and paper to local recycling collection centers, the program and Baylor support grew rapidly and onsite facilities for paper and cardboard were made available.
In addition, the College administration recognized the significance of sustainability and provided a $40,000 seed fund for infrastructure in support of the recycling initiative.
Baylor now has two Abitibi Paper Retriever bins and industrial cardboard crusher to facilitate paper and cardboard recycling. The recycling program has also expanded to include Baylor Clinic and all Baylor buildings as well as Medical Towers (BCM Faculty Center) and surrounding businesses, including Starbucks, Chipotle and A&E – The Graphics Complex. The Medical Towers program has a dedicated Recycling Collection Center in Suite 1405, and a dedicated reserved parking spot for the recycling coordinator.
Since its inception in July 2006, at which time no paper or cardboard was being recycled, the Baylor recycling program has grown significantly. During May 2007, less than one year later, approximately 12.6 tons of paper and 10 tons of cardboard were recycled.
The EHS has also been active in promoting sustainability across the College and TMC campuses.
The college is proud of its accomplishments and serves as an example for other institutions. For program details, contact Dr. Winifred Hamilton, director of the BCM-EHS, or Rock Morille, senior director of Baylor Facility Services at email@example.com.