Delaware State University Eliminates AND Recycles 36 Tons Of Paper From Its Campus


    DOVER, Del. – A team from Delaware State University’s Office of Enterprise Risk Management recently concluded an initiative that has made the campus safer and more information secure with the conclusion of DSU’s first-ever “GOT PAPER?” campaign.

    The team – technically called the document management team – led a process by which it helped University offices and departments identify masses of paper and paper products such as cardboard that no longer served a purpose. The team then designated July 28-29 as “GOT PAPER?” day, in which employees threw out more than 36 tons of unneeded documents and cardboard from the campus.

    The paper waste was shredded – which was important because some of the paper contained no longer needed personal information of students and employees – and then sent to be recycled. The campaign, of which the initial work began in March, culminated on July 28-29 in which DSU offices and departments dumped the unwanted paper in recycle bins. The contents of the recycle bins were then picked up by Data Guard, Inc., and dumped in their trucks, which shredded the documents and took the remains to be recycled.

    According to Data Guard – based in Bridgeville, Del. – the recycling company received from DSU a total of 33.8 tons of paper and 2.6 tons of cardboard. That total of 36.4 tons of recycled paper saved the equivalent of more than 618 mature trees.

    “The overall goal is to reduce risk by resolving information security, fire, and safety issues simply by reducing the amount of paper on campus,” said Michelle Shorter, associate vice president of Enterprise Risk Management (ERM) at DSU.

    Ms. Shorter said that Monica Hall, associate director of ERM Policy and Compliance, was put in charge of the project. Ms. Hall headed up multiple document management teams that conducted 10 quantitative site observations across campus to assess the risk in the areas of information security and safety (especially fire safety) that existed in connection with stored documents and paper.

    DSU President Harry L. Williams commended the team for its work. The “GOT PAPER?” initiative affirms the priority that the University places on safety, information security and its role as an environmental steward,” Dr. Williams said.

    An important part of the campaign has been to educate the DSU members and the surrounding community about the importance of recycling, which includes the following environmental impact facts:

    • The average household throws away 13,000 separate pieces of paper each year. Most is packaging and junk mail.
    • The amount of wood and paper Americans throw away each year is enough to heat 50,000,000 homes for 20 years.
    • The process of recycling paper uses only 60% of the energy needed to make paper from new materials.
    • Each ton of paper recycled can save the energy equivalent of 165 gallons of gasoline.
    • Recycling one ton of paper saves 17 mature trees.
    • Seventeen mature trees absorb a total of 250 pounds of carbon dioxide from the air each year. Burning one ton of paper would create 15,000 pound of carbon dioxide.
    • One ton of recycled paper saves 254,800 gallons of water and more that 100 cubic yards of landfill space.
    • The average American uses seven trees a year in paper, wood and other products, these amounts to almost 2.6 billion trees per year.