A Tradition of Stewardship

In Elmhurst University’s early years, a campus farm provided students with locally grown produce. Today, we incorporate green principles in every aspect of campus life, and our core values include a commitment to responsible stewardship of the environment.

Recycling Extravaganza 2022 is Canceled

The 2022 Elmhurst University Recycling Extravaganza, originally planned for April, has been canceled as part of the University’s efforts to reduce the spread of COVID-19. Please stay tuned for the return of the Recycling Extravaganza.

If you have any questions about the event, please contact

A Green Oasis

With nearly 850 trees, the University’s 48-acre arboretum campus has earned Tree Campus, USA® designation from the Arbor Day Foundation. Other sustainable features on campus include:

  • A prairie garden featuring 75 species of native plant life
  • Environmentally sustainable landscaping practices, such as natural herbicides and drought-resistant plants

Sustainable Design

Sustainable design principles are incorporated in construction projects across campus. For instance, West Hall, the University’s newest residence hall, won Gold LEED certification. It features 42 rooftop solar panels, motion-sensitive lighting, a network of cisterns to capture and store rainwater, and more.

Green Technology

The University has adopted a variety of practices to support a healthy environment. Examples include:

  • Low-impact lighting
  • Permeable paving in our newest parking lot
  • Low-flow shower and flush fixtures
  • Environmentally friendly cleaning and painting products

Recycling Initiatives

The University has a robust recycling program for cardboard, paper, aluminum, glass and plastic. In addition, our annual Recycling Extravaganza invites the larger community to recycle unwanted items.

As a result, hundreds of tons of electronics, as well as tens of thousands of pounds of carpeting, scrap metal and books, hundreds of bicycles and truckloads of clothing and other unwanted items, have been diverted from landfills.

Food Service

Chartwells, the University’s dining service, serves only fair trade organic coffee, antibiotic-free poultry and sustainable seafood, and cage-free eggs. Chartwells buys food from local producers as often as possible, and its most commonly used disposable packaging is made from renewable resources.

Student and Employee Leadership

The Elmhurst University Sustainability Committee coordinates and promotes sustainability efforts across campus. Appointed by the president, committee members include cabinet-level appointees and faculty, students and staff. Additional leadership is provided by several student groups, including the Greenjays and the Living Green Team.

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