APU sign

Recycling and Conservation Efforts at APU

These are just a few of the things APU is doing to care for our planet:

  • The university wrote and received a $193,364 grant in 2008 for beverage recycling in our living areas from California's Department of Conservation.
  • All university trash picked up by our trash hauler, Athens Services, goes to its recycling plant. Athens Services diverts 38 percent of its trash from the landfill.
  • APU installed two cardboard balers behind each dining area in 2008 and diverted 62 tons of cardboard from the landfill in 2011.
  • Maintains numerous on-campus recycling locations (PDF) for white paper, mixed paper, and bottles and cans.
  • APU student workers recycled 8 tons of bottles and cans in 2011.
  • APU’s partners, Azusa Light and Water and the Southern California Gas Company, provide the university with rebates each time it installs water-saving devices, timed irrigation systems, and energy-saving appliances.
  • APU owns nine electric vehicles used by Campus Safety, IT, and the libraries.
  • In early 2012, APU SIFE (Students in Free Enterprise) students created The HUB, which provides repairs and tune-ups for bikes, scooters, and longboards, and is open every Friday from 11 a.m.-4 p.m. Visit The HUB’s Facebook page for more information.

Landscaping Services

  • Received an $18,000 grant from the San Gabriel Valley Municipal Water District to connect 11 irrigation controllers to a weather station to use water only when the weather requires
  • Diverts green waste from landfills by reusing wood chippings and lawn clippings as mulch
  • Utilizes timed watering systems
  • Plants drought resistant plants

Custodial Services

  • Uses recycled paper in all restrooms
  • Uses biodegradable cleansers

Design and Construction

  • The Segerstrom Science Center, APU’s first Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) building, opened in the fall of 2009. It received LEED Gold Certification.
  • In December 2012 the Administration West building received the university’s first EPA Energy Star Building Award. This building uses less energy when compared to other office buildings of similar size.
  • Installs “cool roofs” to reduce electricity usage
  • Installed a warehouse timer to reduce electricity usage
  • Replaced outdated lighting fixtures with newer more efficient fixtures in the following locations. These electrical lighting retrofits, along with the careful management of the university’s Energy Management System, have reduced electrical costs by more than $100,000 each year:
  • Ray V. Anderson building in 2006, which is now saving $4,000 in electricity costs each year
  • Weight room, fitness center, and paper warehouse in 2008, which are now saving $2,835 in electricity costs each year
  • Building One in 2009, which is now saving $25,450 in electricity costs each year
  • Mary Hill Center in 2009, which is now saving $17,928 in electricity costs each year
  • Duke Art Wedge in 2009 with a generous contribution from the Department of Art, which is now saving $3,541 in electricity costs each year
  • Eight multimedia classrooms in 2009, which are now saving $10,508 in electricity costs each year
  • Parking garages at University Village in 2009, which are now saving $2,067 in electricity costs each year
  • Admin West in 2010, which is now saving $11,733 in electricity costs each year
  • The Academic Modulars in 2010, which are now saving $18,417 in electricity costs each year
  • The Warren Music Building in 2011, which is now saving $18,920 in electrical costs each year
  • The Ronald Building in 2011, which is now saving $13,706 in electrical costs each year (this building is the first all-LED building on campus)
  • Worked with Microtrend Technologies to test clamp-on water meters in two dormitories to measure water use
  • Installed smart thermostats in Trinity and Engstrom halls that automatically turn off when the room is unoccupied


  • Partnered with the Office of Residence Life to donate truckloads of food, clothing, and furniture to The Salvation Army during move-out weekend (35 tons of waste was also disposed properly during this time)
  • Properly disposes of light bulbs, batteries, paints, and chemicals
  • Recycled 37 tons of metal and old appliances in 2011
  • Completed its installation of low-flow, water-conserving shower heads in all residence halls, saving more than one million gallons of water annually
  • Partnered with the Salvation Army to donate four truck loads of unwanted furniture, clothing, and canned goods
  • Received a $3,000 grant from the San Gabriel Valley Municipal Water District to install faucet aerators that conserve water

Housing Services

  • The Office of Residence Life purchases residence hall furniture manufactured by Thurston Furniture, a registered member of the Forest Stewardship Council.
  • In 2014 there were 514 pieces of old furniture, totaling 48,528 lbs., donated to the Institutional Recycling Network, which gave the furniture to the poor residents of Grand Prairie, Texas, and El Salvador

University Libraries

University Libraries invested in two window tinting projects in Darling Library to reduce indoor solar heat and save on cooling costs.


Information Technology keeps e-waste from landfills by donating unwanted computer equipment.


The Warehouse reuses moving boxes.

On-campus Recycling Teams

  • The women’s track and field team raised more than $1,400 to support an elementary school and build a well in Haiti. In fall 2007, they also raised $200 for a community center in Ensenada, Mexico.
  • Irma Nicola, library technician, has put recycling containers in Heritage Court and has raised $9,000 in almost three years. She is working on a $25,000 memorial endowment for Azusa residents with the Division of University Advancement.

Environmentally Concerned Faculty and Students

The following faculty incorporate sustainability concepts into their curricula:

The following students are working to promote recycling and conservation efforts at APU:

  • In 2009, freshman Matt Fishman created APU’s Environmental Club, which created a volunteer paper recycling program in our offices that now serves more than 40 offices and diverted 9 tons of paper in 2011.
  • Daniel Baker instituted the Scraps Initiative, which received presidential approval to donate $10,000 of savings generated through conservation efforts during Lent 2009 to help build wells in impoverished communities overseas.
  • In 2009, junior Daralynn Glazner took on the Brita Corporation’s Eco-Challenge and won a $10,000 grant to help fund the Greenprints Learning Living Community.
  • In 2009, sophomore Esteban Salcido volunteered his time to promote recycling on campus. In 2010, he was hired to collect cardboard, white paper, and monitor trash volume. Because of his efforts, cardboard revenues are up 50 percent and summer waste costs have been reduced by $2,700 by eliminating unnecessary dumpsters.
  • SIFE students collected 2,000 old cell phones and donated 2,000 calling cards to U.S. soldiers.