University of Houston-Victoria

Workplace Environmental and Recycling Policy

Section: General Index: H-8

Subject: Workplace Recycling And Environmental Policy


The University has a special responsibility and role as a community leader and major regional consumer of environmental resources, to set positive examples of management and conservation within this area. This policy includes the implementation of both mandatory and voluntary practices to reduce landfill waste, further recycling, conserve energy and reduce the usage of natural resources.Accordingly, the university will purchase products, supplies, and services that further this goal.  

All departments and schools will comply with purchasing preferences for recycled, remanufactured, environmentally sensitive products and services and other practices established here. 

The University encourages employee recommendations and suggestions to improve this program.  



The following items are to be recycled, whenever possible (other classes of recyclables may be added if markets develop):

  • Aluminum Cans
  • White Copy Paper
  • Shredded Paper
  • Newsprint – Newspapers (Currently, magazines cannot be recycled.)
  • Telephone Directories
  • Batteries (vehicle, utility cart, and smaller batteries) 
  • Cardboard

Where to Recycle - Place cans, white copy paper, and newsprint in specially marked containers for each recyclable in each building.  When disposing shredded paper, telephone directories, cardboard, or batteries notify Facilities Services for collection.

Primary collections containers will be emptied by Facilities Services staff on a regular basis and delivered to a  campus holding location or a to recycling center (see below).  Individual desk side containers are to be emptied by each employee to relieve the burden on custodial staff.

Disposition of Funds

Recycling revenues, if any, are to be deposited with the UHV cashier to the Recycling Center cost center.  Revenues will be used for the purchase of education materials to promote campus recycling and conservation.

Energy Conservation  

Thermostat Settings

  • Report room and office temperature problems to Facilities Services. Do not adjust thermostats.   Facility Services will strive to balance temperatures between human comfort levels, energy conservation demands, and operational considerations.  The following room and office thermostat settings are established guidelines to support energy conservation efforts.  

Air Conditioning - No lower than 75 degrees

Heating - No higher than 68 degrees 

Office Lighting

    Turn off all unnecessary lighting in offices when not in use or when away from the office for 1 hour or more.
  • Employees may purchase security (night-lights) and/or plant lights for placement in offices, however, university funds shall not be used for the purchase of security or plant lights or for the purchase of replacement bulbs for these fixtures. 
  • Upon departure each evening, custodial and security personnel will turn off lights excluding designated plant and security lamps that campus safety or employees have requested to remain lit.

Computer Terminals and Other Electrical Appliances

  • Turn off computers, printers, copiers and other electrical appliances when departing for the day. 

  • Turn off any personal heaters after use.  Note:  University funds cannot be used for the purchase of personal heaters.  Heaters that are for personal use must be approved by Facilities Services prior to operation and must meet minimum safety standards including: 1) automatic shutoff when tipped over; 2) 1000 watt maximum output; and 3) surface that is cool to touch when in operation.



Campus Recycling Coordinator –  Purchasing Assistant, Business Services.  The Recycling Coordinator is an additional duty assignment.  In addition to regular assigned duties, the coordinator will:

  • oversee campus recycling efforts;
  • ensure that recycling containers are available for collection of the various recyclables (Primary recycling collection containers will be provided through Facilities Services.);
  • review departmental requisitions  for policy compliance;
  • at least quarterly, through e-mail, in-house meetings or newsletters, educate employees and custodial services staff about waste reduction/recycling goals of the university;
  • serve as the resource to departments and schools for the purchase of recycled products;
  • prepare recycling reports as required by state agencies; and
  • annually report initiatives to encourage recycling and reduce waste including amounts and types of materials collected for recycling; amounts and values of recycled products purchased and make available through the university website.

Campus Environmental Services Coordinator –  Director of  Facilities Services. The Environmental Recycling Coordinator is an additional duty assignment.  In addition to regular assigned duties, the coordinator will:

  • manage the energy management initiatives at the campus; and
  • prepare annual reports as required by federal, state, UHS or other regulatory entities

Employee Guidelines

Each member of the campus community must assume personal responsibility for recycling of designated wastes and are encouraged to:

  • Promote recycling among fellow employees and encourage participation;
  • Empty personal desk containers in the primary containers;
  • When communicating, printing or making copies:
    1. Make double-sided copies where possible.
    2. Before running a large number of copies, do a one-page test of copier settings.
    3. Place unusable copies in recycle box adjacent to copier.  Don't throw in trash.
    4. Use voice mail or e-mail whenever possible.  Avoid making routine paper copies of every e-mail message.  (The university server automatically backs up e-mail weekly)
    5. If you are responsible for any publications, examine publication format and frequency. For example, send a two-sided, 8-1/2 x 11 newsletter, rather than a four-page, foldout version (cutting content accordingly).
    6. View the reports and data on-line rather than printing out the report.
    7. Look at the printed reports that you receive.  If you do not need the report or use only infrequently, cancel the report.
    8. Prepare note pads from available scrap paper.

Printing, Publication and Other Purchasing Practices Required of  All Employees Who Make Purchasing Decisions or Have Account Signature Authority

  • When using outside printing services, specify minimum 20% recycled-content paper, whenever possible for the job, including university letterhead, envelopes, and business cards. 
  • Use the recycle logo on all printed materials with recycled content.  (Watermark is preferable to printed.)
  • Before purchasing new office furnishings, check with facility services for availability of suitable surplus office furnishings.
  • Be selective when ordering products with chemicals.   Do not order more than can be used before the expiration date or shelf life of the product.
  • Do not order aerosol containers.  Use refillable pump dispensers, if available.
  • Specify copy machines with duplex copying capability, whenever possible.  (These machines can copy both sides of a sheet of paper).

UHV Sponsored Events and Daily Activities

  • Encourage use of silverware, glasses and ceramic mugs for daily coffee, eating.  Discourage use of Styrofoam, paper ware and disposable plastic ware.
  • Minimize use of single serve/pre-packaged condiments.
  • Request placement of recycling containers for aluminum cans at larger events.

Other Green Building Practices

  • Consider using interior plants within your personal work zone, the area of six to eight cubic feet where you spend most of your day.  Research by universities, the U.S. Department of  Agriculture and private corporations show that plants improve indoor air quality.  Sealed energy efficient buildings have less exchange of fresh outdoor air for stale indoor air.  Research indicates that plant-filled rooms contain 50-60 percent fewer airborne molds and bacteria than rooms without plants.

  • Local University funds (not state) may be used for the purchase of plants if approved by the supervisor.  However, it is recommended that employees use personal funds to purchase plants for individual offices or work spaces.  Plant maintenance is the responsibility of the individual employee.


Signature obtained 
Raymond V. Morgan, Jr., Ph.D.
Interim President


Next review: November 2021
Origination: Facilities Services