DePaul University Mission and Values > Programs > Sustainability at DePaul > What is DePaul Doing? > FAQ


Can departments order non-allergenic plants year round to improve indoor air quality?

Yes, this would come out of the departmental budget and the department would be responsible for the care of the plants.  There are plant care companies that the department can pay to care for the plants.​

Does what we put in the recycling bins really get recycled?

As long as the bin only contains clean recyclables, it is recycled. We sometimes have issues with people putting trash (e.g. leftover pizza) in recycling bins. When this happens, the contents of the bins are contaminated and can’t be recycled. ​

What can we recycle?

Please refer to the following pdf documents:

Sorted Bins
Unsorted Bins

How does a department request more recycling bins?

If a department notices a common area that needs a recycling container, they should contact Facility Operations. If a department wants more containers in their offices, they need to purchase them from the departmental budget. ​

Can we get personal recycling bins?

If a department wants to provide personal recycling bins, they can be purchased using the departmental budget. ​

Can we reuse the plastic bags in garbage cans under some conditions?

Bags are currently being reused as much as possible. The standard procedure is to consolidate garbage from garbage cans in the same area, to minimize the number of bags thrown out. ​

What recycled products are we currently using?

Bathroom supplies, paper, remodeling supplies when possible (e.g. carpet tiles and partitions made from recycled plastic). Lumber supplies are certified as sustainably harvested. ​

Is it safe to turn off computers, monitors and printers nightly?

Yes, it is perfectly safe to turn off these devices whenever they are not in use. ​

Can we put sensors on lights to turn them off automatically when nobody is in the room (especially bathrooms and halls)?

We are putting in sensors in new construction (e.g. McGowan) and remodeling, when it makes sense to do so. Over time we are installing in classrooms and other key areas. In the meantime, please turn off the lights when you leave the room or you notice that a room is unoccupied. ​

What are we doing with renewable energy?

7% of our energy is coming from renewable (wind), up from 3% in 2009. ​

Can we encourage people to use their own containers by giving a discount in the cafeteria?

We will be doing promotions at different times, so look for the signs at your cafeteria. The current promotion is Thermos Thursdays, offering discounted coffee drinks on Thursdays. We are investigating the possibility of a reusable takeout container. ​

What is a green roof?

A green roof contains soil and plants either as a full planted partial roof (like McGowan South) or an elevated rack and tray system (like DePaul Center). The plants used are native to the area and require little or no watering. The plantings improve air quality and absorb heat and rain, lessening the heat load of the building. ​

Can we put windmills on some of our roofs?

There are windmills on the roof at McGowan North and on McCabe Hall. ​

Can we put vegetable gardens on some of our roofs or in open spaces?

We don’t have enough open space to grow a useful amount. We are working with our food service partner to increase the use of local produce. ​

My office is too cold in the summer and too warm in the winter. Can’t we have better temperature control?

Our goal is to keep spaces at a reasonable temperature (68-72°). If you are experiencing temperature problems, please contact Facility Operations. ​

Can we have more local control of temperature?

Modern HVAC systems require a lot of equipment. In order to accommodate this equipment, we have to use zones in large buildings. These zones are designed for the expected usage of the area. If you are experiencing temperature problems, please contact Facility Operations; some adjustments or corrections can be made. ​

What is DePaul doing to encourage healthy eating?

We are working with our food service company to increase the use of local produce and organic items. We are providing more vegetarian and vegan choices. Our chicken and eggs are free-range. Our fish is certified as sustainably harvested. ​

What are we doing with organic materials?

Our landscape treatments are organic. ​