Sustainability University Efforts

at Saint Francis University

  • Green Torvian

    What is SFU doing?

    Saint Francis University engages in several university-wide efforts to promote sustainability. Here are just a few ways in which our University is looking towards the future!

  • Recycling

    Recycling BinsSaint Francis University implemented a recycling program in 1991 to reduce landfill waste and demonstrate Franciscan stewardship of our environment. Most classrooms and offices have paper collection and in many hallways one will find collection bins.  A number of items are also accepted at the large community recycling bins located in the JFK parking lot.

    What Can I Recycle and Where?


    • Paper
      • University stationery/high grade office paper
      • Computer printer paper
      • Colored paper (office grade)
      • Envelopes, with or without windows
      • Shredded paper of types listed above

        - Notes: Remove all paper clips and rubber bands before placing in proper bin. Place newspapers in designated boxes, not the office paper bins.Recycle at SFU- Where: blue bins in offices, classrooms, hallways, JFK parking lot collection center

    • Corrugated Cardboard
      • Any corrugated box except pizza boxes

        - Notes: Place next to any recycling or trash bin for collection
        - Where: JFK parking lot

    • Plastics
      • Any #1 or #2 plastic container (includes food and beverage plastics, as well as personal hygiene products, laundry detergent containers, household cleaner containers)

        - Notes: Empty, rinse (if possible) and place in proper bin.  Caps and rings are okay on #2 bottles. Do not include plastic Solo cups, margarine tubs, or any #2 plastic containers whose necks are not narrower than the container’s middle. These are made of a slightly different #2 plastic that will degrade the end product.
        - Where: blue bins in hallways and at JFK parking lot collection centerRecycling at SFU

    • Aluminum/Metal Cans
      • All metal beverage and food cans (includes soup cans)

        - Notes: Empty and rinse containers and place in proper bin
        - Where: blue bins in hallways and at JFK parking lot collection center

    • Newspapers and Magazines

                 - Where: JFK parking lot collection center


    What not to Recycle ?


    • Glossy paper
    •  Pizza boxes
    • Aerosol or hazardous cans
    • Glass (of any kind)
    • #3, #4,#5,#6, or #7 plastics
    • Styrofoam (of any kind)
    • Plastic pipe, plant containers, packing material
    While these items are not collected for recycling on campus, some items may be collected elsewhere.  


    What Happens After You Place Your Recyclables in a Collection Container?

    The custodial staff will collect the material from the containers and transport it to the campus collection site in the JFK parking lot.

    It is imperative that you place your recyclables in the proper containers. Custodial staff are not permitted to sort recyclables deposited in incorrect bins. One Styrofoam takeout box or half-empty coffee cup could contaminate the entire bin, undoing the good deeds of others. Contaminated batches will be thrown out with regular trash (landfilled) and not recycled.

  • Geothermal Heat Pumps

    Albedo Roof and Geothermal Systems DiSepio Institute and Christian HallChristian Hall and the DiSepio Institute for Rural Health and Wellness, two buildings on campus, feature geothermal heating and cooling systems that reduce the amount of pollution emissions that would be generated from traditional heating sources.   

    Albedo Roof on the DiSepio Institute

    The albedo (white) roof reflects solar light to reduce the amount of heat that the DiSepio Institute receives.

  • Dining

     Eco Steps DiningDining services uses a term called “EcoSteps" to communicate the steps we are taking to reduce our environmental footprint. These EcoSteps are “our steps to sustainability” to continually expand our role as a socially responsible university while providing exceptional hospitality to all of our guests.  The EcoStep’s logo highlights items that are part of our sustainability program. Below are the EcoSteps that St. Francis Dining currently has accomplished:

    • Commitment to local foods through our FarmSource program 
    • rBGH-free milk products from Vale Wood Dairy
    • Eliminated trays to reduce food waste and water consumption
    • Introduced reusable “Eco-clam Shells” to eliminate Styrofoam containers.
    • Grow your Own – Torvian Garden at Saint Francis University supplies year round herbs and seasonal vegetables. 


  • Lake St. Francis Watershed Nature Trail

    Watershed TrailLocated on campus, this 1.5 mile path winds though a variety of different nature habitats on campus. The trail was designed to provide access to the University's quieter, more natural areas and to increase knowledge of our local ecology. In addition to its recreational use, the trail and surrounding ecosystem are used by the Biology Department and other members of the campus and local community as a site to conduct scientific research and to promote environmental education. The trail is open to use by all members of the community.

  • Hydration Stations

    Hydration StationRefilling a water bottle is made easy with hydration stations located in buildings around campus.
    Station locations include:

    • DiSepio Institute
    • JFK Student Center (lower level)
    • Science Center
    • Stokes Athletic Center


  • Captain Michael McGuire Memorial Park

    McGuire ParkThe park, located on the southern edge of campus, has been designed to provide residents, students, and visitors a multi-purpose area to enjoy recreational and learning opportunities. Features such as a walking path, fitness stations, outdoor classroom, playground equipment, picnic tables, grills, benches, and bike racks provide users with a wide variety of options for recreational and health and wellness activities.

    Learn About the Park's Sustainable and Green Building Practices

    Utilizing sustainable and green building practices were integral to the park’s construction. The project site is adjacent to a portion of natural woodland and wetland complex that runs along the floodplain of an unnamed tributary to Clearfield Creek. Over the years, the land had been used to hold rock and soil construction wastes. During construction, these previously disturbed wetland areas were restored by removing the earth and rock fill and great care was taken to avoid additional impacts.

    The vision for the park was to present a natural, sustainable, and inviting outdoor space as opposed to a well-manicured, programmed area with a sterile feel. Bioretention/rain garden areas have been constructed along the sides of the park to absorb drainage and runoff. Plantings include PA native species (including Red Maples, Tulip Trees, and Eastern Hemlocks) as well as vegetated swales and “no mow” meadow grasses around the park’s boundaries. The outdoor classroom, fitness stations, benches, picnic tables, and trash/recycling receptacles are mounted on permeable bases to assist with runoff. The playground equipment, picnic tables, and benches are made from recycled plastic materials and the restrooms are an environmentally-friendly waterless system.

    Learn more about the park