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Sustainability seeks to provide the best outcomes for individuals and the natural environment both now and into the future. University Housing works diligently to reach the sustainability goals as outlined in the University of Georgia Campus Sustainability Plan. University Housing has incorporated the principles of sustainability into the department's daily operations. In addition, University Housing strives to increase environmental awareness among students and staff as well as promote a sustainability community by example and through education of residents.

There are four primary ways by which University Housing demonstrates its commitment towards sustainability efforts - educational programs and campaigns, water and energy conservation efforts, recycling and other conservation efforts, and maintaining a healthy living environment.


Christy Tweedy, Sustainability Coordinator

Nethra Rajendran, EcoReps Intern

Social Media


Move-In Recycling Saves Items From Reaching The Landfill

In efforts to reduce our collective impact during Move-In week, residents will notice locations where they can easily recycle large amounts of their packing items. These items are usually cardboard boxes and Styrofoam. University Housing will have locations along each hall where students can recycle these large quantities. Cardboard boxes (among other accepted items) can be recycled year-round nearby each resident hall. Consult your Resident Hall Council for locations of recycling locations for your hall.

Annual Move-Out Donation Program Benefits Community Non-Profits

During the 2018 spring move-out, housing’s annual Dawgs Ditch the Dumpster and Donate program collected 50,200 pounds of unwanted furniture, clothing and other items, which was then distributed to more than a dozen local and regional non-profit organizations.

Dawgs Ditch the Dumpster and Donate (Dawgs Ditch for short) is an annual landfill diversion initiative and student volunteer opportunity that reflects housing’s commitments to sustainability and student leadership. The program allows residents living on campus to donate unwanted items that may otherwise end up in a landfill. Thanks to a grant from the UGA Office of Sustainability, University Housing coordinates this annual event with help from student organization Hillel at UGA.

"This program allows students to serve the community while giving them tools for tackling real-world challenges,” said the housing Sustainability Coordinator. “Service and sustainability are increasingly important issues the leaders of tomorrow will face and Dawgs Ditch speaks to both those concerns.

Many donations go to housing’s main partner, Goodwill of North Georgia, which contributes resources such as volunteers and trailers for the duration of the program—usually the two weeks leading up to spring commencement. Donations to Goodwill directly impact the Athens community by providing funds for job training services.

The list of organizations that benefit from Dawgs Ditch grows each year. Organizations that have benefitted in the past include Athens Area Habitat for Humanity, Project Safe (a shelter for women and children in crisis), Athens Area Homeless Shelter, Athens Area Humane Society, Friends of the Athens-Clarke County (ACC) Library, Keep ACC Beautiful, the ACC Teacher Reuse Store, and Easter Seals of Northeast Georgia.

“This is a great program that provides an avenue for our students to give back to the community and contribute to our sustainability initiatives,” said Gerard Kowalski, University Housing executive director. “It relates directly to a core value of University Housing to help with living green and lending a hand.”


EcoReps are passionate, green-minded individuals who are committed to bringing sustainability to University Housing. EcoReps serve as leaders that promote, advocate and encourage sustainable and environmentally-friendly living in University Housing. EcoReps serve on the hall councils for each community and are responsible for serving as environmental stewards by encouraging hall councils to make environmentally responsible choices during meetings, programming and everyday residence hall life.

Sustainable Programming Resources

These are helpful resources for Eco Reps, RAs, CAs, and Resident Hall Council members for planning programs.

Bulletin Boards

View/Download the Green Programming Checklist

Visit the University of Georgia Office of Sustainability

C.L.A.S.S. Advocate and Resident Assistant Programming

Request a speaker for your environmental sustainability program by contacting Christy Tweedy, the University Housing Sustainability Coordinator at Please contact Christy two weeks prior to the date of your program with your name and contact information, your building, the date and time and general information about the program.

Examples of previous programs include:

  • Green on the Screen: Documentary viewing and discussion
  • Everyday Sustainability: Small ways to protect the environment
  • Pals and Palettes: Upcycled crafts 
  • Water We Drinking?: A conversation about water conservation and water quality
  • Let's Talk About Food, Baby: Considering the environment in our food choices

Recycling in Residence Halls

Residents across campus have the opportunity to recycle inside and outside of their residence halls. Residents can recycle many items in our single-stream system including, but not limited to, paper products, aluminum and tin cans, glass containers and bottles, plastic containers (excluding #6 and Styrofoam), aerosol cans and cardboard in designated areas.  Plastic bags can be recycled in designated plastic bag recycling bins. For a comprehensive list of items residents can recycling, visit the Athens-Clarke County Recyclable Items page.

When in doubt, throw it out!

Recycling bin location - Russell Hall

Bag Recycling

Athens-Clarke County upgraded several years ago to a single stream recycling system in an effort to drastically increase our county's recycling rate. This means recyclables are automatically sorted at the recycling center. Plastic film gets caught in the gears and can damage equipment, therefore plastic bags and other plastic film must be collected separately.

Find your closest location and bring not just your plastic bags, but bread bags, dry cleaning bags, ziplock bags with zipper removed, produce bags, shipping/packaging, newspaper bags, and any plastic film.

If your plastic film stretches (instead of tearing) and it's clean, it can go in the bins.

You can view University Housing cardboard recycling, recycling room, compost bin, and plastic film bin locations below:


Many of our residence halls offer free composting services through the UGA Departmental Composting Program. This offers residents a convenient way to reduce the amount of waste sent to the landfill, while providing nutrient-rich compost to be used on campus.

Not sure how to compost? Ask your Hall Council's EcoRep for assistance!