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Division of Sustainable Facilities & Operations

Hours of Operation: Monday-Friday from 5:00am-2:30pm

The Grounds Division office is located in the south eastern portion of campus, near P13/14 (between Walters Hall and Oakwood Cemetery). Grounds staff collects trash, recycling and compost from buildings, manages special recyclable items (ex: batteries and electronics), sets up events, moves furniture, and maintains the campus grounds.

Grounds Maintenance

ESF does not irrigate its grounds; however, staff does give extra care to newly planted trees. During the Fall of 2020, ESF partnered with Onondaga County’s Save the Rain program and Onondaga Earth Corps to plant 45 trees (13 species) around P22.

tree planting


tree planting oec group

ESF does not use fertilizer on campus and in rare instances uses pesticides. Prior approval from College Leadership is needed to treat invasive and or potentially dangerous species with pesticides. The Grounds Division also helps to maintain the Gateway Center’s green roof and assists with a campus-wide green roof cleanup during Earth Week every year.

greenroof cleanup

Electric Equipment

The Grounds crew electrified most of its handheld equipment during the Summer of 2019. Staff now use electric leaf blowers, chainsaws, string trimmers, pole saws, walk behind mowers and snow shovels. The crew is even testing a walk behind electric snow blower! Electric equipment cuts down on noise and air pollution on campus and also reduces fossil fuel use. The Student Garden at Lafayette Road also made the switch to electric push mowers.

Path to Zero Waste

The Grounds team collects compost, recycling and trash from building trash rooms and brings it to centralized locations for collection by Syracuse Haulers and Natural Upcycling. They also help conduct and coordinate waste audits for classes and student clubs.

Battery and Ink/Toner Recycling 

Grounds collects and sorts batteries from building drop off locations and also collects ink/toner. Members of the campus community can recycle batteries and toner/ink at the following locations on every floor, of every building.

Electronics and Scrap Metal Recycling

The Grounds Division also coordinates electronic and scrap metal recycling. Electronic recycling opportunities exist for items such as: computers, televisions, copiers, fax machines, cell phones, radios etc. If you have electronic items that you would like to recycle, please submit a Work Order assigned to Deb Snyder (Property Control).

Active engagement from the entire campus community is needed to achieve success along our Path to Zero Waste. You can be part of the movement and help our custodial staff by being conscious of what you bring to campus and by properly sorting materials into trash, recycling and compost bins. ESF has set zero waste goals and reports on our progress annually. Explore our Sustainability Division for more information about a variety of sustainability initiatives.

  • Newspapers
  • Magazines
  • Cardboard
  • Cans
  • Glass jars & bottles
  • Plastic bottles & jugs
  • Milk & juice cartons
  • Stackable plastic dairy tubs

Scroll to the bottom of this page for instructions for recycling specialized items (ex: batteries, shredded paper, ink & toner etc)

  • Vegetables
  • Pasta & bread
  • Fruit
  • Meat & fish
  • Tea bags & coffee grounds
  • Paper towels
  • Most Trailhead items:
  • All to go containers (except triangle shaped)
    • Forks, knives & spoons
    • All soup cups
    • All drink cups (except cold cups as of Fall 2021 semester) and all lids
    • Napkins
    • Condiment containers
    • Coffee sleeves
    • Stirrers & straws

Items beyond this list are compostable only if they are BPI certified. If you don't know if an item is BPI certified, please place it in the trash

  • Styrofoam
  • Wrappers
  • Chip & snack bags
  • Plastic and coated (shiny) paper plates & cups
  • Plastics (see recycling flyer for exceptions)
  • Non -compostable Trailhead items
    • Triangle shaped containers
    • Wrap paper
    • Fry containers 

Work Orders

Please submit a Work Order if you would like Grounds staff to move furniture or equipment.