GREENgineering News - Summer 2019

Sustainability News from Duke Engineering

Welcome to the start of a new school year! Your GREENgineering team has been at work the past few months and has exciting things planned for this academic year as we work together to make Duke Engineering greener and more sustainable. 

In this message, learn more about:

  • Oct. 1 GREENgineering Event
  • Duke Recycling Club
  • Renovated Kitchenettes: Hudson Annex and Teer Lounge
  • New Recycling Opportunities: Nitrile gloves and pipette tip boxes
  • Vending Machines Go All Aluminum
  • Get Duke Green Certification
  • How you can get involved in GREENgineering

Oct. 1 GREENgineering Event

Save the Date

Mark your calendar for Tuesday, Oct. 1 to attend the GREENgineering Event!

We’ll gather in Harrington Engineering Quad to celebrate our accomplishments so far and re-dedicate ourselves to sustainable practices. We’ll also recognize all faculty research labs and other groups that have achieved Duke Green Certification.

We’ll have information booths and displays—meet the team, ask questions and learn what you can do.

Duke Recycling Club

A student-led effort 

Upon learning of the challenges of collecting recyclable materials and getting them into university bins, a group of Duke Engineering students has risen to the challenge and proposed a new student organization, the Duke Recycling Club.

The club, led by graduate students Kat Horvath (ECE) and Abby Mrvos (University Program in Materials Science & Engineering), is currently working with Duke Engineering Facilities on ways they can encourage sustainability—including managing new recycling bins planned for instructional spaces in Hudson Hall, Teer Building and the Fitzpatrick Center.

Be on the lookout for more about the club and its activities. It is open to all Duke Engineering students. To join, add your name to the volunteer list.

Renovated Kitchenettes

Making reusables more convenient 

In the spring, as an amazing sign of support of the GREENgineering vision, a generous donor provided significant funding to aid our efforts.

After hearing proposals, the GREENgineering funding committee selected a first project—the renovation of two kitchenettes: one on the second floor of Hudson Hall Annex and other on the first floor of the Teer Building.

The projects support sustainability by making the use of reusable bottles, plates, cups and utensils more convenient.

Each kitchenette will provide a place to refill drinking bottles and a sink to wash dishes. Renovations are expected to start soon and last about two weeks.

After the work is complete, watch for announcements of the Grand Re-Openings of these spaces.

New Recycling Opportunities

Nitrile gloves and pipette tip boxes

Attention faculty research labs: vendor VWR has expanded its recycling program for nitrile gloves and plastic pipette tip boxes to Duke Engineering.

To participate, your lab must make contact with VWR. To get started, send an email, regarding either glove, tip-box recycling, or both to

Vending Goes All Aluminum

Plastic bottles removed from soda machines 

Working with partners at Duke Vending, the last plastic soft drink bottles in beverage vending machines in the Fitzpatrick Center and the Teer Building were removed on August 28.

The machines now only dispense soft drinks in aluminum cans. There is more recycling compliance with aluminum. According to U.S. Environmental Protection Agency estimates, more than 50 percent of aluminum beverage cans in the United States are recycled, compared to about 30 percent for PET and HDPE plastic bottles.

Soda drinkers may find reduced selection in the current machines until new vending machines are delivered that will accommodate only cans and are compatible with student payment cards.

Get Duke Green Certification

Lab, course, workspace and event

With our campus partner the Duke Office of Sustainability, we are committed to significantly increase the number of green-certified faculty research labs, workspaces, courses, and events at Duke Engineering. 

Certification indicates that your team has completed a checklist of sustainability items.

Start a conversation today with your group about obtaining Duke Green Certification for your labworkspacecourse, or event.

Even More

  • Ultra-Low Freezer Rebates: Faculty research labs are eligible for rebates ranging from $3,286 to $5,000 to incentivize the purchase of efficient ultra-low freezers
  • Green Your Event: On the Pratt Intranet, find sustainability tips for event planning, and a list of approved green caterers
  • Send your ideas to the GREENgineering inbox
  • Join the Team — now accepting volunteers