composter in CSAM building

Sustainability at Montclair State University

We are determined to encourage and develop a responsible and responsive campus community that will foster positive behaviors and attitudes towards environmental stewardship for the sustainability of both the present and future generations. Montclair State is committed to developing community and global partnerships in our mission to assist with the attainment of sustainability at both national and international levels.

Our Initiatives


In 2009, Montclair State University became the first educational institution in the nation to sign a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) committing to utilize the latest green technologies and practices on its 246-acre campus. By signing the MOU, the University agreed to management and operational principles that will ensure that it meets high environmental standards and reduces its carbon footprint.

Green Building

Green buildings are structures designed and constructed in a manner to reduce its impact on the environment and public health by efficient utilization of resources. These goals are achieved by incorporating efficient use of water and energy resources; sustainable waste management practices and simultaneously protects occupant’s health and maintains their productivity.

Montclair State University has two buildings that have been certified under Leadership in Environmental and Energy Design (LEED): University Hall was certified in 2008, and the Center for Environmental and Life Sciences (CELS) was certified LEED Gold in 2017, earning Montclair State University the distinction of having one of two public buildings in the State of New Jersey recognized with Gold status.

Currently, the School of Communication & Media building and College Hall are pursuing LEED Certification.

For more information: U.S. Green Building Council

Green Purchasing

The University purchases 100% recycled paper to use in their copy machines. The University also purchases roll paper towels and toilet paper that are made out of recycled materials and green cleaning supplies. In fact, 80% of all cleaning products used on the campus are green cleaning supplies including glass cleaners, all purpose cleaners, neutral disinfectant floor cleaner, floor stripper, floor wax, and carpet shampoo.

Montclair State has combined the ordering of chemical products for all their academic labs and now has one chemical storage area for all the chemicals used in the academic labs.


Montclair State University and UMM Energy Partners, LLC formed a major public-private partnership to develop a combined heating, cooling, and power (CHCP) system for the campus.

The facility and its related improvements replaced the campus’ former energy plant which began generating steam in the 1940s and providing electricity as a co-generation plant in 1993. The project’s development resulted in more cost-effective, efficient, and reliable delivery of heating, cooling, and electrical services to campus buildings.

The plant provides natural gas-fired electric generation, chilled water for cooling, and steam for heat. The steam, condensate, and chilled water flow to and from campus buildings through the new energy distribution system. Additionally, the majority of the campus’ electricity requirements are satisfied by the onsite plant, which is designed to operate continuously, producing electric power of approximately 5.4 megawatts. The plant is located on Yogi Berra Drive, adjacent to the campus’ CarParc Diem parking garage.

The University is currently developing a MicroGrid project as our next phase of energy management strategies.


To promote the use of public transportation and reduce the number of single occupant vehicles driven to campus, Montclair State and NJ Transit have partnered to offer full-time undergraduate and graduate students a 25% discount on a rail, bus, or light rail monthly pass when they enroll online through NJ TRANSIT’s Quik-Tik program.

Buses – Montclair State’s shuttle fleet runs on low sulfur diesel fuel. In addition to the shuttle fleet, five bus lines currently operate on campus – four from NJ Transit and one private carrier.

Trains – There are two train stations adjacent to the University campus – Montclair State University station at the north end and Montclair Heights station at the south end.

Alternative fuel vehicles – Montclair State has electric vehicles for staff to use on campus as an alternative to diesel powered golf carts. These vehicles are used by various shops/departments within Facilities and Dining Services.

Bicycle – The University encourages students, faculty and staff to use bicycles. There are several bicycles racks on campus such as, Blanton Hall main entrance, Bohn Hall, Calcia, Clove Road Apts. (between Apt. 100 and 200), Clove Road Apts. (between Apt. 200 and 300), College Hall, Dickson Hall, Dioguardi Field, Finley Hall, Life Hall, Morehead Hall, Music Building, Panzer Gym, Red Hawk Deck, Richardson Hall, Russ Hall, Sprague Library, Student Center, Student Recreation Center, University Hall, Village (one at each building), Webster Hall. (Map of bike rack locations)

USGBC Student Chapter

On October 24, 2012 Montclair State University celebrated the 10th Annual Campus Sustainability Day by confirming its commitment to being a “Green Campus”, and by establishing a United States Green Building Council (USGBC) – Center for Green Schools – Student Chapter.

Green campus: A higher education community that is improving energy efficiency, conserving resources and enhancing environmental quality by educating for sustainability and creating healthy living and learning environments.

The Center for Green Schools is working in partnership with students, faculty and administrators to strengthen campus sustainability efforts.

The Center and USGBC aim to increase accessibility to LEED for educational facilities and campus development, support student leadership and advocacy efforts and promote sustainability in the curriculum.

This initiative is being led by Professor Gregory Pope, PhD (Earth and Environmental Studies- Faculty Advisor), Amy V. Ferdinand (University Facilities – Staff Advisor), and Sushant K. Singh (Earth and Environmental Studies – Group President), Shevon Letang (Earth and Environmental Studies – Montclair State University Sustainability Coordinator Intern). Twenty undergraduate, graduate, and PhD students signed the Affiliation Agreement between USGBC and Montclair State.

Waste Management

Organic/Food Waste Composting

Food scraps are collected from two kitchens on campus. The scraps are collected daily in 5 to 10 gallon buckets three times a week these buckets are collected and weighed. The scraps are then processed in an in-vessel aerobic digester after being mixed with wood chips (which serve as a bulking agent and carbon source for the bacteria that biologically decompose the food scraps). The compost is then used for landscaping projects around campus. This activity eliminates the carbon dioxide that results from this process.


The office of Information Technology at Montclair State University has established a computer life-cycle replacement program to keep all computers for faculty and staff and those in public and teaching computer labs up to date. An inventory of all computers at the University was compiled and a replacement program plan was created. The goal of the program was to replace the computers in the public and teaching labs and provide all full time faculty and staff members with one primary computer. The program was later expanded to include some computers for part-time employees, students and graduate assistants. The Office of Information Technology does three-year leases on the facilities computers. Montclair State has agreements with DELL, IBM and Hewlett Packard to send back old computers to the manufacturers so they can be recycled. The University contracts with a computer and electronics recycling firm to properly handle the retirement of all E-waste that is not leased or returned to the supplier at the end of the life-cycle. In 2007, Montclair State launched a recycling program in collaboration with “Charitable, Inc.” to recycle all brand name ink toner cartridges.

All the electronic and electrical waste is collected and recycled by Urban Renewal Corp.

Water Use Reduction

Montclair State University has employed a program to reduce water usage at the University. Waterless urinals were installed in the bathrooms located in University Hall in 2004. The waterless urinals use Ecotrap which consists of a lightweight biodegradable fluid called Blue Seal. The liquid traps the odors and sediment drops to the bottom of the trap to help prevent the pipes from clogging. The waterless urinals do not overflow and have reduced water usage by 45,000 gallons per year for each urinal. The University has also reduced water usage by planting drought resistant and native plants for all newly constructed buildings. The facility does not need to install sprinkler systems or irrigation systems to water these plants.