Graduate Students Senate



Dedicated to improving recycling and sustainability initiatives at UD.


Contact the committee chairpersons to get involved today:

Heather Thomson,

Greg Ardini,




Dumpster Detour

Is a student run project taking place from May 17th - 23rd to collect reusable items from students moving out of their campus residences. Any student wishing to donate their items to families in need instead of just throwing away the items can simply drop off their donations at the drop-off sites! Moving trucks will be located at George Read and Rodney Complex (Look for the Orange Banners and moving trucks!) to receive donations for the following dates and times:

Thursday, May 17th: 2-5 pm

Friday, May 18th: 2-5 pm

Saturday, May 19th: 10am-5pm

Sunday, May 20th: No hours

Monday, May 21st: 2-5 pm

Tuesday, May 22nd: 2-5

Wednesday, May 23rd: 12pm-10pm

This project is a partnership between the Graduate Student Senate Sustainability Committee and S4E (Students for the Environment), and UDon't Need It? and is funded through the UD Sustainability Task Force and in part by the office of Residence Life.


Sneaker Mountain

As part of Earth Week, the Sustainability Committee collects athletic shoes from University students, faculty, and anyone else wishing to make a contribution on campus. These shoes are sent to Perpetual Pumps for Africa, an organization devoted to delivering wearable shoes to people in need throughout Africa. If the donated shoes are not usable, they are sent to Nike Reuse-A-Shoe, where they are converted to playground material.


Fume Hood Project

Fume hoods are a necessary safety feature in any lab that deals with chemicals.  Pulling out dangerous fumes, they provide a safe and easy working area for dealing with hazardous materials.  Most researchers don't realize that these fume hoods also pose a hazard to the environment with the amount of energy they consume.  Due to the fact that fume hoods constantly blow inside air out, they waste huge amounts of heated air in the winter and cooled air in the summer.  In fact, a fume hood can use as much energy as 5 average American households! Saving this energy is as simple as lowering the safety sash on the front of the fume hood in modern labs such as DuPont Hall.

To further sustainability on campus, a group headed by Roy Murray working with the GSS Sustainability Committee made informational stickers to demonstrate how much energy each fume hood uses.  With easy to understand graphics representing household energy use and simple dollar amounts, the group was able to encourage graduate student researchers to lower the sash on their fume hoods more often and save the University money and tons of CO2 emissions. 

For more info, please see:
Fume hood energy use information
Fume hood calculator


Dumpster Detour

Every year when students move out of UD for the summer, huge amounts of still usable furniture, appliances, etc. get tossed into the dumpsters. In previous years, the U Don’t Need It? project designated a location on Paper Mill Road for donation of these unwanted items. However, many students had a hard time accessing this site, particularly if they did not have a car on campus. The idea behind Dumpster Detour is to have convenient collection sites for students on Laird and West Campus. 

Dumpster Detour is largely a student volunteer run project. Both undergraduate and graduate students assist in collecting unwanted items and loading them into trucks, which then take the donations to the U Don’t Need It site. Once there, local families, as identified by the U Don’t Need It charity partners, have a chance to collect items they are in need of. The remaining items are then open to the general public for collection. This event provides all UD students with an opportunity to make a big difference in reducing waste and promoting sustainability throughout the University and the city of Newark.


Tree Survey

The GSS Sustainability Committee is undertaking a tree survey to determine the degree of canopy cover and its associated benefits on campus. Canopy coverage in urban areas is important for many reasons. A healthy distribution of tree coverage in urban areas purifies the air we breathe, reduces runoff during storms, sequesters carbon, and enhances energy efficiency in buildings while simultaneously creating a beautiful landscape for the community. The initial survey was carried out during the 2011 growing season and is in the stages of analysis and publication. Check back soon for more results.