February 2, 2024

All in the Hall recycling expands to include engineering, physics buildings

A hand places an aluminum can into an All in the Hall recycling station.
Kristen Labadie | University Communication and Marketing

Kristen Labadie | University Communication and Marketing
A Husker deposits an empty aluminum can into an All in the Hall recycling station on campus. The program, which started in 2020, is now available in 61 university builldings.

The University of Nebraska–Lincoln’s All in the Hall recycling program continues its expansion on campus.

The university’s comprehensive recycling program, which was approved for phased implementation by the Executive Leadership Team in 2022, is now in 61 buildings. The five new buildings that implemented the program ahead of the spring semester are:

  • Jorgensen Hall

  • Kiewit Hall

  • Nebraska Hall

  • Othmer Hall

  • Scott Engineering Center

All in the Hall was launched in eight campus buildings as a pilot project in 2020. The pilot was based on the Office of Sustainability’s 2019 culture survey which included approximately 9,000 faculty, staff and students. In the survey, 93% of respondents indicated that enhanced recycling opportunities and education on campus were a top sustainability priority.

The program provides a consistent opportunity for university community members and campus visitors to recycle within campus buildings through the placement of standardized waste stations in high-traffic areas. In buildings where All in the Hall stations are located, Custodial Services staff repurpose time previously spent collecting landfill waste from private office spaces, classrooms and conference rooms, allowing them to reliably service all waste streams from the stations.

Morgan Hartman, sustainability coordinator, said the program lowers barriers to recycling while furthering the university’s sustainability goals.

“The waste stations were designed utilizing features intended to help individuals easily sort their waste items for correct disposal,” Hartman said. “We have observed reduced contamination within campus waste streams since implementation of All in the Hall, and expect this to continue with widespread implementation across campus.”

The standardized All in the Hall waste stations have four streams — paper, aluminum cans, plastic bottles and containers, and landfill. Corrugated cardboard is also accepted at the stations and should be flattened and placed behind the stations. Items placed in any recycling stream should be clean, dry and free of food or other non-recyclable waste.

Video: All in the Hall overview

The Chancellor’s Environment, Sustainability, and Resilience Commission created a master plan aimed at building a culture of sustainability on campus through goals like establishing sustainable infrastructure, educating the community on sustainable practices, and reducing waste. This master plan was adopted by the Executive Leadership Team in 2020. Hartman said All in the Hall contributes to accomplishment of the institutional sustainability goals outlined in this plan.

“UNL has adopted goals related to waste reduction and diversion on campus,” she said. “The comprehensive approach to All in the Hall, using standardized containers and defined collection processes, provides UNL community members the opportunity to make a difference and positively participate in recycling efforts on campus to help UNL reach its goals.”

The university’s dedication to sustainability practices earned the institution its first gold rating through the Sustainability Tracking, Assessment and Rating System, a national university- and college-centric program organized by the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education. Nebraska was one of 133 higher education institutions to have earned the gold rating when announced in 2023.

Implementation of All in the Hall is managed by the Office of Sustainability, which hosts expanded information about the program on its website. It is expected that implementation in the remaining state-funded buildings on UNL’s City and East campuses will occur this summer.