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Oklahoma State University


Oklahoma State University embraces sustainability. From energy and resource conservation to transportation to dining to waste management, we place sustainable practices firmly into our operations to lessen any adverse impacts. To take a tour of the sustainability features of OSU's operations click here.

Student Union

Buildings - Buildings under construction on the Stillwater and other campuses in the OSU system are incorporating features such as energy efficient lighting; high levels of insulation; connection to existing systems (steam and chilled water) where available; use of high efficiency equipment/alternatives (i.e., ground source heat pumps); and use of daylight. The OSU Student Union has just received LEED certification for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design.

Cleaning - Custodial Services is using unbleached paper goods with the highest post-consumer recycled content and less toxic cleaning supplies. Steaming equipment is being tested that would eliminate the two most toxic cleaning chemicals still in use by residential living housekeeping staff: degreasers and oven cleaners. 

Lemmons Compost

Dining - University Dining Services is working hard to make our environment more green for future generations by offering local produce, organic options, trayless washing, eco-friendly disposable products, taking steps to recycle and conserve energy, and providing produce scraps to local farmers for composting. See more fun facts about UDS. Also see the UDS Locally Sourced webpage.

Energy - Energy Management's mission is to promoteUniversity-wide stewardship of resources by reducing energy consumption while maintaining a productive educational environment. Nearly $35 million has been saved system-wide since 2007 through the OSU Energy Conservation Program. Use OSU's EnergyCap login information to view your building's interactive energy savings data. OSU Stillwater's Carbon Footprint is being reduced through energy conservation and the use of wind power.

Facilities Management - Employees who use facilities management vehicles must abide by the FM No-Idle Policy when weather permits.

Landscape Services - Facilities Management Landscape Services is responsible for the overall design, installation, and maintenance of 700 plus acres. Landscape wastes are composted and used as fertilizer and soil conditioner, drip irrigation is being installed and Integrated Pest Management is used widely. OSU is also a Tree Campus USA! Visit this page to learn more about Tree Campus USA.

Purchasing - Purchasing is decentralized across OSU campuses, but we are always looking for ways to encourage eco-friendly purchases. Please contact us to join the sustainable procurement committee. Email for more information.

Bin Bottle Cans
Bin Cans
Paper bin

 - OSU bales waste paper and cardboard at a facility north of campus where the bales are stored for sale.  Beverage containers are placed in a large roll-off container at the same facility, where they are stored until the container is full.  Once full, Waste Management makes a trip to Stillwater to collect the roll-off and transfer the containers to their materials recovery facility in Oklahoma City.  Proceeds from the sale of bottles and cans are donated on OSU’s behalf by Waste Management to the Entrepreneurship Bootcamp for Veterans with Disabilities.  See the OSU Recycled Materials Table for amounts recycled since 2010. More information about recycling both in Stillwater and on-campus can be found here


Renewable Energy - As of January 1, 2013, 72% of OSU’s electricity has been coming from wind energy! The Cowboy Wind Farm features 26 turbines that together generate about 60 megawatts of power. OSU also incorporates ground source heat pumps for some heating and cooling, as well as small applications of solar-voltaic energy.

Surplus - OSU employees can check out the Surplus warehouse for free, used furniture, electronics, research equipment and more.  Surplus items are for campus use only.  Items not retrieved from Surplus are sold at auction.


 - OSU-Stillwater Community Transit provides transit service from 6:20 a.m. to 10:30 p.m., Monday through Friday, throughout the academic year. Virtually all transit buses, some motor pool cars, and several other vehicles are fueled by compressed natural gas (CNG) serviced by our own CNG refueling station just north of campus, which is also accessible to the public.  Several electric vehicles are also in use on campus. OrangeRide, located at the west end of the Multi Modal terminal, is a bicycle rental and repair shop that serves the campus and Stillwater community.

Bailing paper recycle fl

 - Oklahoma State is committed to reducing the amount of waste it sends to the landfill. The University recycles paper, cardboard, plastic bottles, aluminum cans, fluorescent bulbs, scrap metal, pallets, lab chemicals, used electronics, auto and rechargeable batteries, used motor oil, tires and refrigerants.  Landscape wastes and some food wastes are composted and surplus property is shared until sold at auction. Books not sold at auction are given to Better World Books. Waste reduction and reuse are encouraged to lessen the need for recycling collections.  Student groups such as SGA Sustainability have taken the lead on tailgate recycling, move-out materials recovery collections and other initiatives.

Water - OSU's water treatment plant draws raw water from Lake Carl Blackwell, 8 miles west of Stillwater, treats the water, making it potable, and distributes it to every building on campus for drinking and process water. OSU is currently investigating the use of raw water from Lake Carl Blackwell for campus irrigation, cooling tower waters and other uses.