electric car chargers
Geese on PSCC Hardin Valley
Division Street Campus photo of recycling container

Sustainability Initiative

Zero Waste Classroom Project!

How have we gotten here?

  • Students, faculty, and staff are great proponents of sustainability at PSCC; but some areas on campus are struggling to recycle properly.
  • For example: There are only paper recycling bins in the classrooms, but we are finding that students, primarily, are using the paper recycle bins as an “all-in-one” bin. As a result, the paper in the bin is becoming contaminated with liquids from non-paper items being thrown into the bins.
  • We have tried labeling the paper bins in multiple fashions; including terms like “no coffee cups”, “recyclable paper only”. This has not been successfully, and the problem has continued.
  • We have worked on weekends due to difficulty to gain access into classrooms during the day. This ensured that classroom bins were always cleaned and emptied, especially since once a bin has non-paper items it will only continue to snowball.

What is the plan moving forward?

  • We have identified a group of 25 classrooms (listed below) on the Hardin Valley campus, which are struggling to recycle properly. Consequently, this is causing problems for both recycling and housekeeping services. After speaking with Facilities about partnering on a Zero Waste Project and discussing how we would go about testing it were are now at the implementation phase.
  • We will “pilot/test” a Zero Waste initiative on these 25 classrooms; whereby we will remove the trash cans and recycling bins from those rooms.
  • The flyer below will be posted on the classrooms that will be affected.
  • We will place additional tri-compartment bins in the hallways/common areas, this will be where students will take their diverted recycling/trash items.
  • It will be the responsibility of the person carrying the item(s) into the classroom to carry them out.
  • We will perform a “audit” on these areas to see if it has increase appropriate recycling and trash usage while decrease the amount of problems that was previously being encountered.
  • If this is successful, we would like to spread this to every classroom on this campus.

Classrooms Affected:

Ned R. McWherter Technology Building

2nd floor

      • 202
      • 217
      • 221

3rd floor

      • 301
      • 302
      • 303
      • 304
      • 305
      • 306
      • 307
      • 320
      • 322
      • 330
      • 338
      • 340
      • 345
      • 346

J.L. Goins Administration Building

2nd floor

      • 227
      • 229

Lamar Alexander Arts & Sciences Building

1st floor

      • 118
      • 125
      • 150
      • 151

2nd floor

      • 223
      • 227


Have an idea for how to make Pellissippi State Community College more environmentally friendly? Pellissippi State takes sustainability seriously, and the College’s Sustainable Campus Committee will be reviewing proposals for sustainability projects, hoping to make those proposals a reality. Proposals are due to the Committee chair, Ann Kronk, by TBD Spring 2017.

Previous sustainable project proposals have included the College’s water bottle filling stations, new outdoor recycling and trash bins, aluminum and plastic recycling and LED lighting in the Clayton Performing Arts Center. All faculty, staff, and students are encouraged to submit project ideas. The Sustainable Campus Committee evaluates proposals based on a rubric, and decides whether to fund the project and at what level. Students’ sustainable campus fees substantially fund the proposals each year. Fill out an application and let us know your ideas! Email Ann Kronk if you have any questions or need more information.


Are you interested in environmental sustainability and want to get involved with Pellissippi State’s sustainable initiatives? Apply to be a member of the Sustainable Campus Committee. The Sustainable Campus Committee determines the use of the funds generated from the sustainable campus fee.  Members of the committee not only vote on the usage of the fee, but they are involved in a number of activities related to sustainability. If you are interested in being a member of this committee, please click here to complete the membership application.

Pellissippi State recognized as ‘Green Achiever’ for sustainability work

sus·tain·a·bil·i·ty: /səˌsteɪ nəˈbɪl ɪ ti/ noun 1. the quality of not being harmful to the environment or depleting natural resources, and thereby supporting long-term ecological balance.

The Sustainable Campus Initiative engages students, faculty, and staff to boost our environmental awareness.  From recycling, reusing, and reducing our use of Earth’s resources, to creating community partnerships and building energy-efficient campuses, there’s something every member of the Pellissippi State community can do to contribute to the sustainability of our living planet.

In 2010, Pellissippi State Community College earned a Governor's Environmental Stewardship Award in recognition of its commitment to recycling and conservation and joined the list of colleges and universities whose presidents have signed a Climate Commitment statement.

Starting Fall 2011, a $10 sustainable Spring and Fall semester campus fee, initiated and supported by students, was implemented.  Funding from the fee is allocated by the Sustainable Campus Committee for various "green" initiatives, ranging from building plans to energy efficient operations, landscaping, purchasing "green" energy blocks, recycling, waste reduction, and educational programs and events.

Campus sustainability takes a village of students, faculty, and staff! Put your empty cans, bottles, and paper in the recycling containers. Bring your refillable water bottle and use the water bottle filling stations to refill it. Car pool or ride your bike.  

Join the “Green PAWS” club! The Club’s purpose is to make a difference of real worth in the community by initiating, promoting, and providing continuity for sustainability practices at Pellissippi State. Email Brad Moats for information about "Green PAWS".

To learn more about Pellissippi State’s sustainability efforts and to get involved, email the Sustainablility Office at sustainability@pstcc.edu or call the office at 865-539-7364.

PSCC is a proud member of: