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2019 AASHE Experience

By Sustainability Office on November 15, 2019

The Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education’s annual conference took place in Spokane, Washington from October 27-29. Two interns from the Office of Sustainability, Cecilia Kane and Makenna Bridge, along with the Assistant Director of Sustainability, Pamela Gramlich, attended the conference, presenting on Colgate’s sustainability efforts and gaining valuable insights from the sustainability community. Here is a word from Makenna Bridge about her experience at AASHE:

“This past weekend I was able to attend the annual AASHE conference in Spokane, Washington as part of my internship with the Office of Sustainability. The acronym for the “Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education”, an organization that focuses on inspiring students and staff alike to “be effective change agents and drivers of sustainability innovation.”  

The overall theme of the conference was “co-creating a sustainable economy,” with many sessions and poster presentations centering around a circular economy framework, where waste is eliminated and resources are continually reused and managed sustainably. Sessions over the five-day conference varied greatly in focus and scale, covering all realms of sustainability from how to start composting on your campus, to how to use an intersectional lens when addressing climate change. I presented a poster on the successes and challenges of collegiate farming, sharing my own experience working with the community garden. My friend and fellow intern, Cecilia Kane co-lead a session on peer-to-peer learning, using or S-Rep program as a case study for how to effectively manage a first-year sustainability group. 

Overall, the AASHE conference was a blast! I traveled to the Pacific Northwest for the first time, met a lot of cool folks and returned to Colgate feeling reinvigorated and ready to make changes in my final year at Colgate!”

On Recycling E-Waste

By Sustainability Office on November 14, 2019

Take a second to think about the number of electronic devices you use on a daily basis. Electronic devices go beyond your smartphone or computer– these devices include nearly anything that has batteries or is plugged into an outlet. As we become increasingly dependent upon these devices and the electronic devices reach the end of their life span, “E-Waste” can pile up. These items cannot nor should not simply be thrown in the garbage, as electronics can contain toxic elements that can pollute the air, water, and soil. Some of these elements are considered valuable and can be reused in other electronic devices and should be recycled. By recycling these materials, you are preventing further mining of raw materials. Recycling of eligible e-waste is required by the NYS Electronic Equipment Recycling and Reuse Act.

Recycling your e-waste is an easy and effective way to mitigate continued environmental damage, but it can be confusing as to what is recyclable and where to take e-waste. At Colgate, we are fortunate to offer convenient satellite drop-off locations across campus for you to dispose of your e-waste. If possible, please drop off your items at the main collection center in the McGregory sub-basement. If your items are large or you need assistance in delivering them, please place a work order with Buildings and Grounds. We only ask that you take a look at the qualifying items below and do not bring in your e-waste from home. For more information on your home-generated e-waste, please visit this site to learn where you can take your e-waste. 

Here is a list of items which can be recycled:

Accepted Items:

Business Machines

Cell Phones



Electronics Scrap

Fax Machines



Medical Electronics


Networking Gear


Scientific Equipment


Telecom Equipment




Wiring & Cabling

Not Accepted:


Hazardous Waste


PCB Ballasts

Small Appliances (toasters, etc.)

Smoke or CO Detectors

Wet Cell Batteries

White Goods (refrigerators, etc.)

*Printer toner can be sent back to the manufacturer or given to your Staples representative.

To recycle Colgate-owned electronic devices, such as a computer, monitor, printer, or television: 

 If the item could be reused or salvaged, contact Salvage/Purchasing (x7838). For computers and printers, call ITS (x7111). 

To report a full e-waste bin in your department, please fill out this google form. 

After you drop off your small electronic waste, we deliver it to EWASTE+ in Rochester, NY. EWASTE+ is R2/Rios and NAID AAA certified, which means that your e-waste is handled responsibly. This also ensures that all data is wiped and circuit boards are destroyed through a metal shredder. Therefore, your data and privacy is not compromised. Please note that our e-waste bins are for small electronic waste only. All large (the size of a microwave or larger) electronic waste will require a work order.

As technology advances and the consumer demand for electronics increases, we have to remain diligent in our choices that have major environmental and social consequences. Recycling e-waste is an easy way to minimize human impact and ensure sustainability into the future. If you have any further questions regarding e-waste, please contact the Office of Sustainability at sustainability@colgate.edu

Meet the Fall 2019 Interns!

By Sustainability Office on November 5, 2019

Kelsey Bonham ‘22

Kelsey is a sophomore from Washington, DC, double majoring in Environmental Geography and Music.  In her free time, she enjoys doing pretty much anything outdoors: sailing, skiing, sitting in a hammock. In terms of sustainability, she is most passionate about reducing physical consumer waste and strives to use reusable containers, thrifting clothes, buying foods in bulk, and generally living minimally not only for sustainability but also for a simpler lifestyle overall. Kelsey is also passionate about the intersection of sustainability and environmental/social justice, like how taking large-scale measures towards a more sustainable planet overall (such as transitioning from fossil fuels to renewable energy sources) will specifically help disadvantaged communities that experience the majority of the adverse effects of climate change while often contributing the least to its causes.

Miller Ward ‘20

Miller is a senior hailing from Thetford Center, Vermont. He is majoring in Environmental Studies and minoring in Philosophy. He spends his free time camping, hiking, or rock climbing. He is passionate about saving the environment and preserving beauty in nature. Miller strongly believes that everything is in some way connected back to the physical world that we live in and that if we do not change how we are living, then we will not be able to protect it.

Cecilia Kane ‘20

Cecilia is from Alexandria, Virginia, and she is finishing up her senior year, double majoring in Geography and Spanish. Find her cooking, painting-by-number, and smiling longingly at pictures of her dog on her phone during her free time. Cecilia also enjoys photography. When we asked her about what she’s passionate about, she tells us: “Sustainability (duh), but also the people in my life! Most of the activities that I do revolve around personal relationships and forming connections across different groups, which makes me feel the most energetic and impactful.”

Aaron Tanaka ‘21

A junior majoring in Political Science and minoring in Environmental Studies, Aaron is from San Diego, California. He enjoys cooking, dancing, rock climbing, listening to music, and eating good food during his free time. Aaron is passionate about changing his fellow peers’ attitudes and behaviors toward sustainability. Since this past summer, he has been actively working on the Oak Events Certification and undoubtedly, he is excited to encourage more sustainable events on campus through this initiative!

Elaina Alzaibak ‘20

Hailing from Tiverton, Rhode Island, Elaina is a senior majoring in Biology. She enjoys the outdoors, especially hiking, canoeing, and gardening. She hopes to become a large animal veterinarian and is passionate about integrating her career with sustainability in local agricultural systems.

Jacob Watts ‘21

Jacob is a junior from Erie, Pennsylvania, majoring in Biology and minoring in Geography. In his free time, he enjoys rock climbing, white water kayaking, and mountain biking. He is very passionate about plant ecology and how climate change is affecting plants in different ecosystems.

Caroline Barrett ‘20

Caroline, a senior from Vestal, New York, is double majoring in Environmental Geography and Psychology. She enjoys making banana bread during her free time, and she’s really passionate about club soccer.

Mak Bridge ‘20

Mak is a senior majoring in Environmental Geography. She is from Madison, New York. During her free time, Mak is either mostly outside, often photographing Colgate’s squirrels or watching movies. She is passionate about agriculture, dogs, pollinators, and Australia. And sustainability, of course!

Alexander Hansen ‘20

Alex is a senior from Wenham, Massachusetts, majoring in Environmental Studies and minoring in Sociology. He spends a lot of time listening to music and learning about nerdy audiophile things surrounding music creation and sound systems. He tells us his passion for sustainability “is founded in wanting to learn about different cultures and how we are socialized in certain ways around issues of sustainability which includes everything from the environment to political opinions.” He is also passionate about finding a balance in life between the benefits industrialization has provided and creating systems and institutions that responsibly manage those benefits.

Ethan Reiser ‘21

Ethan, a junior from Greenville, Pennsylvania, is double majoring in History and Environmental Studies. In his free time, he either hangs out with his friends or eats food or does both. He is passionate about the environment, traveling, and food.


Samantha Lovely ‘20

Sam is a senior from Jupiter, Florida, double majoring in Geography and Environmental Studies. She enjoys horseback riding, going to the beach and paddleboarding during her free time. She is passionate about water conservation since “water is life!”

Adam Zaharoni ‘21

A junior from Yardley, Pennsylvania, Adam is double majoring in Geology and Classical Studies. During his free time, he hangs out with his friends, plays poker and enjoys watching tv. He is passionate about providing sources of clean water to everyone in the world because he believes it is a universal human right.

Jaanvi Sachdeva ‘21

Jaanvi is a junior double majoring in International Relations and Environmental Studies, from Mamaroneck, New York.  During her free time, she enjoys listening to music, cooking, eating and most importantly, playing with her housemate’s dog. She is very passionate about encouraging a culture of climate action on campus and has been working hard to fulfill this as the co-president of Students for Environmental Action (SEA). She is also passionate about eating good food.

Luvna Dhawka ‘20

Luvna is a senior from Mahébourg, Mauritius (the only place where the Dodo bird was found!) majoring in Molecular Biology and minoring in Mathematical Systems Biology. During her free time, find her baking, cooking, gardening, trying new cuisines, listening to music or taking funny pictures of her friends. Recently she has been interested in the amount of plastic waste that laboratories generate. She is also passionate about learning more about the use of plants for medicinal purposes and in drug discovery.