Ever wonder what happens to all of the materials from the buildings that have been recently torn down or renovated on Western Carolina University’s Cullowhee campus?

Thanks to the university’s Office of Sustainability and Energy Management, nearly all of the materials, from light fixtures and seating to the brick and mortar, are being recycled or repurposed as a means of preventing them from ending up in landfills, said Chief Sustainability Officer Lauren Bishop.

“We just wanted to reduce our footprint and minimize how much waste we send to the landfill,” Bishop said. “We are really trying hard to reduce what we send to the landfill.”

Those efforts begin internally. Bishop said her office reaches out to various shops across campus, such as housekeeping, to see if there are items they may need. For instance, housekeeping was able to utilize paper towel holders and soap dispensers during the demolition of Niggli Theatre. Facility management’s lock shop and HVAC shop were able to repurpose door hardware and a ceiling heater, while Residential Living was the beneficiary of some LED light fixtures.

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Originally published Oct. 30, 2018.