Nashville, Tenn., October 29, 2018 – Fisk University unveiled a new recycling and organics
collection program during a ceremony held on campus Monday, October 22, 2018. Fisk
University has partnered with Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation
(TDEC), Metro Nashville Public Works (MNPW), the Natural Resources Defense Council
(NRDC), Turnip Green Creative Reuse, Compost Nashville, and Thompson Food Services to
implement a master plan of sustainability moving the institution toward zero-waste.
“Fisk’s core values include accountability, service, and leadership,” said Fisk President, Kevin D. Rome Sr., Ph.D. “With this program, we hope to cultivate these values in our students, so they may be leaders in the community by showing their accountability and service to living sustainably on campus.” “The purpose of this partnership with Fisk is to not only significantly reduce waste sent to the landfill, but to also teach our future leaders the importance of living sustainably and being environmental stewards,” said Kendra Abkowitz Brooks, assistant commissioner of the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation.

TDEC has contributed 47 recycling bins to Fisk as part of the Department’s Higher Education Institution Campus Sustainability Improvement pilot program. In addition to providing signage and logistical support, MNPW assisted Fisk in securing a $6,000 grant from the NRDC to support compost collection by Compost Nashville. Turnip Green Creative Reuse will provide 5 recycling and composting education to faculty, staff and students.
“Up to forty percent of all food in the U.S. goes uneaten,” said Darby Hoover, senior resource specialist at NRDC. “NRDC is proud to support Fisk University’s new program to keep wasted food out of the landfill and educate more people about their role in preventing food from going to waste.”

Fisk is currently experiencing a 25-30% increase in student enrollment, representing a need and opportunity to educate the campus community on how to divert food waste and eligible recyclable materials from the landfill. The program, when fully implemented, is projected to reduce Fisk’s disposable waste by 37%. Recycling and compost bins are located throughout campus in Crosthwaite Hall, Jubilee Hall, Shane Hall, New Livingston Hall, the John Hope and Aurelia E. Franklin Library and Spence Dining hall.

“We are thrilled to see this project come to fruition. What started as a student led initiative last spring has blossomed into a great sustainability program for Fisk. We are honored to have been part of it from the beginning and look forward to following it and supporting it in the future.” Kelly Tipler, Director, Metro Beautification.

Fisk University staff supports the recycling and organics collection programs by providing
signage, education and outreach to staff and students about the benefits to recycle and compost, explain what can be collected for recyclables and organics, and inform staff and students of the bin locations. Stewart Watts, Director of Residential Life and Campus Services, will hold weekly dormitory residential assistant (RA) meetings to teach RAs how they can educate students and monitor the recycle bins on the floors they’re responsible for.

About Fisk University
Founded in 1866, Fisk University is a private, liberal arts university located in Nashville,
Tennessee. Consistently recognized for its brand of academic excellence, Fisk is ranked No. 6 on the Top 10 Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU) in the 2019 U.S. News & World Report. Fisk ranked No. 1 in the nation for social mobility and No. 3 in the nation in research among top liberal arts colleges in research expenditures in the 2018 rankings of National Liberal Arts Institutions by The Washington Monthly. The school’s faculty was rated No. 4 position among Tennessee Universities by the Department of Education. To learn more about Fisk University, please visit