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Sustainability and the KU Memorial Union


Image of a rooftop herb garden at the Kansas Union

The KU Memorial Union works to adopt sustainable and green practices throughout its services and operations, and is always open to suggestions and additional resources to help improve these efforts. Current sustainability initiatives include:

  • Event management systems for its facilities that automatically control environmental aspects such as lighting, heating, and cooling of spaces to save energy when spaces are not in use.
  • Single stream recycling receptacles throughout its facilities and event recycling at major events in partnership with KU Recycling.
  • Union retail operations recycle over 145 tons of cardboard, 7 tons of steel, and 6 tons of plastics annually.
  • Union areas research and employ energy-saving earth-friendly products and equipment as key components in facility maintenance and upgrades.
  • A compost program that delivers over 500 tons of compostable materials to local farmers and to KU student farms and gardens.
  • KU Dining employs tray-free service in residential dining centers, significantly reducing post-consumer waste and water and energy usage.
  • KU Dining donates all used cooking oil (an average of 150 gallons per week) to KU Biofuels Research.
  • Use of biodegradable wares (plastic ware, cups, plates) in all retail dining locations.
  • Local produce buying programs and organic food concepts for retail dining operations.
  • A rooftop garden at the Kansas Union grows many of the herbs and seasonings used throughout campus dining locations.

One of 34 U.S. public institutions in the prestigious Association of American Universities
Nearly $290 million in financial aid annually
44 nationally ranked graduate programs.
—U.S. News & World Report
Top 50 nationwide for size of library collection.
—ALA
23rd nationwide for service to veterans —"Best for Vets," Military Times
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