COM Announces Recycling Pilot Program

COM Announces Recycling Pilot Program 

Activities scheduled for National Recycling Day on November 15

KENTFIELD / NOVATO, CA—November 9, 2018—College of Marin (COM) is excited to announce a new recycling pilot program aimed at educating students, staff, and faculty about sustainability and proper disposal of waste, compost, and recycling. The Trash Talk recycling activities—supported by Associated Students of College of Marin (ASCOM), Marin Sanitary Service, and COM’s Environmental Action Club—will take place Thursday, November 15, from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. in the Academic Center Courtyard. The event will feature games, activities, and demonstrations. 

COM has partnered with Marin Sanitary Service to align how the College divides waste with the campus waste hauler’s removal and disposal methods. The College chose to launch the pilot program in the Science, Math, Nursing Building (SMN) because its spaces have a variety of different waste collection needs, such as labs, medical training rooms, offices, classrooms, and conference rooms.

Bins located throughout SMN will accurately reflect the items that can be recycled by Marin Sanitary Service. These bins will be centered in common areas rather than individual offices to encourage more sorting. Finally, new signage will clarify what is recyclable and which bin it belongs in.

Director of Facilities Planning, Maintenance, and Operations Klaus Christiansen expects the pilot program will result in significant improvements to how the College collects and diverts waste away from landfills. 

“If recycling gets cross-contaminated because someone throws a soda can into the bin for paper, that could result in the contents going to the landfill,” said Christiansen. “These improvements will make it easier for students, faculty, and staff to sort their waste, which will increase the amount that actually makes it to the recycling plant.” 

Recycling data from COM’s 2016-17 academic year show that 89.5 metric tons of paper was recycled, along with 2.1 metric tons of cardboard and 2.6 metric tons of mixed recycling. However, the College aims to increase these numbers.

The recycling pilot program is part of COM’s Zero-Waste Initiative and seeks to broaden the College’s significant investments in sustainability. Beginning with the Measure C modernization bond in 2004, College facilities have been upgraded and designed with sustainability in mind. COM has made bold strides in the areas of green building, clean energy, student engagement, education, and operations. 

A few key sustainability highlights include:

  • SunPower solar array carports at the Kentfield and Indian Valley Campuses, which provide over two megawatts of energy to the campuses electrical system. 
  • Recognition as the first California community college using 100 percent renewable energy through Marin Clean Energy’s Deep Green program.
  • Five buildings on campus earned LEED Gold Certification and one earned LEED Silver Certification. 
  • Student clubs with more than 100 members, such as the Environmental Action Club and the Sustainability Club.
  • Courses on alternative fuel vehicles, architecture and environmental design, environmental science, organic agriculture, solar photovoltaic design, and sustainable entrepreneurship. 
  • Approximately 30 students engaged in sustainability and energy projects through the Energize Colleges paid internship program (in partnership with Strategic Energy Innovations).

Danielle Robinson is an Energize Colleges Sustainability Fellow at COM who has been working to connect students and staff on the shared goal of interweaving sustainability into curricula, internships, and energy education components for the campus community. According to Robinson, developing an inventory of sustainability efforts and tracking them is tantamount to building relationships based on the community’s concern for the environment. 

“College of Marin students are concerned about the environment and engaged in what’s happening in their communities,” said Robinson. “It is inspiring to see how students work together to gain knowledge about energy and sustainability, create new projects and initiatives that support their learning, then share that knowledge and passion with their peers in and outside the classroom.”

COM is excited to share the passion and commitment to environmental sustainability with the community. For the College, sustainability is a lens that includes equity, ecology, and economy. As such, COM will continue to promote and support these efforts as they are in alignment with the institution’s mission and vision. 

For more information about sustainability at College of Marin, visit

About College of Marin
Established in 1926, College of Marin remains committed to educational excellence, providing equitable opportunities, and fostering success in all members of its diverse community. With campuses in Kentfield and Novato, students of all ages have affordable access to an exciting variety of credit and noncredit courses as well as community education classes for lifelong learning. College of Marin is one of 115 public community colleges in California and approximately 13,000 credit, noncredit, and community education students enroll annually. 
College of Marin is accredited by the Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges, Western Association of Schools and Colleges, 10 Commercial Boulevard, Suite 204, Novato, CA 94949, (415) 506-0234, an institutional accrediting body recognized by the Council for Higher Education Accreditation and the U.S. Department of Education.